Obesity Not Linked to Mortality in Elderly People Over 85

Obesity Not Linked to Mortality in Elderly People Over 85
Obesity Not Linked to Mortality in Elderly People Over 85

(HealthDay News) – Obesity does not increase mortality in elderly adults aged >85 years.

To evaluate the age-related relationship between obesity and mortality risk, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, PhD, and Rotem Perach, of Tel Aviv University in Israel, used data from 1,369 elderly people aged 75–94 years who participated in the Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Aging Study in Israel. The Israeli National Population Registry was used to obtain mortality data at 20-year follow-up.

The researchers found that, while obesity was a significant predictor of higher mortality in adults aged 75–84 years (hazard ratio for obese versus normal weight, 1.296; P = 0.03), for older subjects, obesity actually exhibited a nonsignificant trend toward having a protective effect (hazard ratio for obese versus normal weight, 0.944; P > 0.05). Being underweight consistently predicted mortality.

"With the increasing numbers of old-old persons and of their life expectancy, extra attention is often given to avoid obesity. Current findings suggest that such an emphasis may not apply to those advancing towards old-old age, at least as far as mortality is concerned," the authors write.

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