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Association of Changes in Weight with Body Composition and Mortality in Older Adults: Health ABC

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 — Poster Session I

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • RA Murphy
  • KV Patel
  • SB Kritchevsky
  • DK Houston
  • E Simonsick
  • AB Newman
  • F Tylavsky
  • P Cawthon
  • TB Harris


Background: Aging is often accompanied by weight and body composition changes that may indicate declining health. Methods: We aimed to determine the association of weight changes with body composition and mortality among 1,975 participants (53% women, 37% black) in HABC with annual weight and DXA measurements over 5 years with mortality follow-up for 8 subsequent years. A 5% weight change yearly or from year 1 was used to define weight as stable, loss, gain or unstable (gain and loss). Results: Compared with stable, those with loss or unstable weight had increased mortality risk; weight gainers did not have increased mortality risk. In fully adjusted models hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) for weight loss in women and men were 1.53 (1.12-2.09) and 1.47 (1.14-1.91) and for unstable, 1.71 (1.21-2.41) and 1.69 (1.23-2.32). After the 5-year period, weight losers had the lowest weight, lean and fat mass. Weight unstable women tended to weigh less than weight stable women (p=0.06) mainly due to differences in fat mass (p=0.04) not lean mass (p=0.12). There were no differences between men with unstable or stable weight. Conclusions: Weight loss and cycling were strongly associated with increased mortality, underscoring the importance of weight monitoring for geriatric care.

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