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Weight, mortality, years of healthy life, and active life expectancy in older adults
Journal of the American Geriatric Society (2007)
  • Paula Diehr, University of Washington
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether weight categories predict subsequent mortality and morbidity in older adults. DESIGN: Multistate life tables, using data from the Cardiovascular Health Study, a longitudinal population-based cohort of older adults. SETTING: Data were provided by community-dwelling seniors in four U.S. counties: Forsyth County, North Carolina; Sacramento County, California; Washington County, Maryland; and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. PARTICIPANTS: Five thousand eight hundred eighty-eight adults aged 65 and older at baseline. MEASUREMENTS: The age- and sex-specific probabilities of transition from one health state to another and from one weight category to another were estimated. From these probabilities, future life expectancy, years of healthy life, active life expectancy, and the number of years spent in each weight and health category after age 65 were estimated. RESULTS: Women who are healthy and of normal weight at age 65 have a life expectancy of 22.1 years. Of that, they spend, on average, 9.6 years as overweight or obese and 5.3 years in fair or poor health. For both men and women, being underweight at age 65 was associated with worse outcomes than being normal weight, whereas being overweight or obese was rarely associated with worse outcomes than being normal weight and was sometimes associated with significantly better outcomes. CONCLUSION: Similar to middle-aged populations, older adults are likely to be or to become overweight or obese, but higher weight is not associated with worse health in this age group. Thus, the number of older adults at a "healthy" weight may be much higher than currently believed. PMID: 18031486 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Related LinksSurveillance for certain health behaviors among states and selected local areas--behavioral risk factor surveillance system, United States, 2004. [MMWR Surveill Summ. 2006]Weight-modification trials in older adults: what should the outcome measure be? [Curr Control Trials Cardiovasc Med. 2002]Obesity in adulthood and its consequences for life expectancy: a life-table analysis. [Ann Intern Med. 2003]Body mass index in middle age and health-related quality of life in older age: the Chicago heart association detection project in industry study. [Arch Intern Med. 2003]Age-related trends in cardiovascular morbidity and physical functioning in the elderly: the Cardiovascular Health Study.
Publication Date
November 20, 2007
Citation Information
Paula Diehr. "Weight, mortality, years of healthy life, and active life expectancy in older adults" Journal of the American Geriatric Society (2007)
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