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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 Jul-Aug;57(1):46-53. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2013.02.006. Epub 2013 Mar 9.

Body mass index and disease-specific mortality in an 80-year-old population at the 12-year follow-up.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Kyushu Dental University, Kitakyushu, Japan.


Although many investigations examined the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and mortality, little is known about the possible associations between BMI and disease-specific mortality in very elderly people. Here we evaluated this association in an 80-year-old population. In 1998, 675 residents in Japan's Fukuoka Prefecture participated. They were followed up for 12 years after the baseline examination; 37 subjects (5.5%) were lost to follow-up. The subjects were divided into six groups by their BMI values: <19.5 (most-thin), 19.5 to <21.1 (relatively thin), 21.1 to <22.5 (thin/normal), 22.5 to <23.8 (normal/overweight), 23.8 to <26.0 (relatively obese), ≥26.0 (most-obese). The most-thin group had the highest mortality from all-causes, and from respiratory disease. The normal/overweight group had the lowest overall mortality among the six BMI groups. These associations were found in the men, but not in the women. The most-obese group did not have higher mortality from all-causes or cardiovascular disease compared to the normal/overweight group. Respiratory disease-related mortality was lowest in the most-obese group. No association was found between BMI group and mortality from cancer. In conclusion, in an 80-year-old Japanese population, mortality from all-causes or respiratory disease was highest in the most-lean group (BMI <19.5), and mortality from all-causes or cardiovascular disease was lowest in the group with BMI 22.5 to <23.8.

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