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J Intern Med. 2010 Aug;268(2):133-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2010.02219.x. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

Weight change in later life and risk of death amongst the elderly: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Elderly Network on Ageing and Health study.

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  • 1Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Athens, Greece. cbamia@nut.uoa.gr

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Later life weight change and mortality amongst elders.

DESIGN:

Nested case-control study.

SETTING:

Six countries from the European Investigation into Cancer and nutrition-Elderly, Network on Ageing and Health.

SUBJECTS:

A total of 1712 deceased (cases) and 4942 alive (controls) were selected from 34,239 participants, > or = 60 years at enrolment (1992-2000) who were followed-up until March 2007. Annual weight change was estimated as the weight difference from recruitment to the most distant from-date-of-death re-assessment, divided by the respective time.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Mortality in relation to weight change was examined using conditional logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Weight loss > 1 kg year(-1) was associated with statistically significant increased death risk (OR = 1.65; 95% CI: 1.41-1.92) compared to minimal weight change (+/-1 kg year(-1)). Weight gain > 1 kg year(-1) was also associated with increased risk of death (OR = 1.15; 95% CI: 0.98-1.37), but this was evident and statistically significant only amongst overweight/obese (OR = 1.55; 95% CI: 1.17-2.05). In analyses by time interval since weight re-assessment, the association of mortality with weight loss was stronger for the interval proximal (< 1 year) to death (OR = 3.10; 95% CI: 2.03-4.72). The association of mortality with weight gain was stronger at the interval of more than 3 years and statistically significant only amongst overweight/obese (OR = 1.58; 95% CI: 1.07-2.33). Similar patterns were observed regarding death from circulatory diseases and cancer.

CONCLUSIONS:

In elderly, stable body weight is a predictor of lower subsequent mortality. Weight loss is associated with increased mortality, particularly short-term, probably reflecting underlying nosology. Weight gain, especially amongst overweight/obese elders, is also associated with increased mortality, particularly longer term.

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PMID:
20210842
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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