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J Nutr Health Aging. 2008 Feb;12(2):127-31.

Body mass index, dementia, and mortality in the elderly.

Author information

  • 1Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA. jal94@columbia.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the association between body mass index and mortality in the elderly taking the diagnosis of dementia into account.

DESIGN:

Cohort study.

SETTING:

cohort study of aging in Medicare recipients in New York City.

PARTICIPANTS:

1,452 elderly individuals 65 years and older of both genders.

MEASUREMENTS:

We used proportional hazards regression for longitudinal multivariate analyses relating body mass index (BMI) and weight change to all-cause mortality.

RESULTS:

There were 479 deaths during 9,974 person-years of follow-up. There were 210 cases of prevalent dementia at baseline, and 209 cases of incident dementia during follow-up. Among 1,372 persons with BMI information, the lowest quartile of BMI was associated with a higher mortality risk compared to the second quartile (HR=1.5; 95% CI: 1.1,2.0) after adjustment for age, gender, education, ethnic group, smoking, cancer, and dementia. When persons with dementia were excluded, both the lowest (HR=1.9; 95% CI=.3,2.6) and highest (HR=1.6; 95% CI: 1.1,2.3) quartiles of BMI were related to higher mortality. Weight loss was related to a higher mortality risk (HR=1.5; 95% CI: 1.2,1.9) but this association was attenuated when persons with short follow-up or persons with dementia were excluded.

CONCLUSION:

The presence of dementia does not explain the association between low BMI and higher mortality in the elderly. However, dementia may explain the association between weight loss and higher mortality.

PMID:
18264640
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2716999
Free PMC Article
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