Overweight Elderly had shorter Life Expectancy

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(Best Syndication News) - A Loma Linda University study found that elderly people who had a higher body mass index (BMI) had a decreased life expectancy. Men older than 75 years of age, with a BMI higher than 22.3, had a reduced life expectancy by 3.7 years. Women over 75 years of age, with a BMI of 27.4 or higher had a life expectancy reduction of 2.1 years. The Adventist Health Studies' research was published in the American Geriatrics Society journal.

Lead author, Pramil N. Singh, DrPH, who is an associate professor in the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University, suggested that previous research only involved a single baseline measurement of weight, and surveyed mortality rates less than 19 years. Dr. Singh said that they had 29 years worth of follow-up data with a cohort to help measure mortality. The data included several body measurements for weight.

The researchers had data on 6,030 adults who were nonsmokers and did not have a major chronic disease during the start of the research. The participants were Seventh-day Adventists, who generally maintained a healthy diet and were physically active. Additionally, the Seventh-day Adventists often are lifelong non-smokers and have very little to no alcohol. In this particular study, the researchers only included the adult participants who maintained a stable weight.

The researchers found that men had a greater risk of mortality at a lower BMI rate than women did. Men’s mortality risk increased at a BMI of 22. 3, while women’s mortality risk increased at a BMI of 27.4.

Dr. Singh said that being overweight and obese over the age of 75 carries risks, and the elderly should maintain normal weight.

By: Marsha Quinn

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