New Study Finds Associations Between Body Size Changes and Mortality in Healthy Older Adults - medtigo



New Study Finds Associations Between Body Size Changes and Mortality in Healthy Older Adults

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As people become older, their weights tend to vary. Some people’s weight may progressively decrease, but others may gain weight as they become less active. When it comes to elderly patients, physicians frequently examine their weight and advise on keeping active and slim. However, research on the clinical significance of weight fluctuation in otherwise healthy older persons is sparse.  

A recent meta-analysis published in JAMA Network Open found that older people who lost or gained weight or whose weight fluctuates over time had a greater chance of dying from any cause. Most of these studies involved participants who already had health issues, and their BMI assessments and mortality evaluation methodologies differed significantly. As a result, additional research is needed to identify whether a change in weight poses a risk to the lives of otherwise healthy senior people.  

Waist circumference (WC) has been presented as a more reliable predictor of mortality risk than body mass index (BMI), particularly for predicting the chance of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and premature death. WC assesses abdominal obesity, which is related to higher inflammatory mediator release. There is, however, a scarcity of data on the relationship between changes in BMI, WC, and mortality rates by cause in an aging population.  

According to a new study, men and women who dropped more than 10% of their body weight had a higher chance of dying from any cause. This includes a higher chance of dying from cancer, heart disease, and other reasons. Men were shown to have a higher link than women; those who kept a steady weight for an average of 4.4 years had a death rate of 8.4%, while those who dropped more than 10% had a mortality rate of 30.1%. The comparable statistics for females were 5.5% and 12.6%, respectively.  

The study, which included a large cohort of community-dwelling people aged 65 and older, was one of the most exhaustive and precise weight loss assessments in this age range. Its legitimacy stems from the fact that it is based on objective measurements of body mass and expert opinions on the causes of death.The findings also revealed that a 5-10% weight loss was associated with an increased risk of mortality from all causes in both sexes and an increased risk of death from cancer in women and non-cancer/non-CVD causes of death in men.

A decreased waist circumference (WC) was also connected to an increased risk of dying prematurely. Weight gain was likewise shown to be unrelated to mortality in this study, with the probable exception of female non-cancer/non-CVD fatalities. However, this finding should be interpreted with care due to the small sample size.  

Previous studies on the relationship between weight loss and death included a few older adults with several comorbidities. This study adds to that understanding by revealing a close link among otherwise healthy persons aged 65 and older living in the community.Cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other less common causes of mortality in the study’s sample of older men and women were all connected to weight loss. Several factors, including increased resistance to appetite-stimulating hormones, inflammatory cytokines, and other mediators, may contribute to the reduced appetite and food intake associated with weight reduction in this age group. 


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