Overweight elderly people have a higher mortality rate

A recent study has been completed by the Sahlgrenska Academy and has shown that there is a correlation between older people who have a large waistline and high mortality.

Previous research had shown that people who are underweight in old age faced greater health risks than those who were overweight. This new study however has shown that there is a distinct correlation between increased mortality and waist circumference being large.

An international team of scientists were working on the study, including those from the Academy and they looked at data from 30 different scientific studies.

They looked at different risk factors associated with people who were older than 65 and found that there was a definite correlation between waist size and high mortality.

The comprehensive study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, shows that older men and women who have a large waistline run an increased risk of death – particularly due to cardiovascular disease – irrespective of if their Body Mass Index is normal, low, or high.

The results, which were controlled for smoking and age, are based on a five-year follow-up of over 32,000 men and 25,000 women from more than ten countries.

An unhealthy large waistline is defined in the study as more than 102 centimeters (40 inches) in men and more than 88 centimeters (35 inches) in women. According to the results, a waist circumference of 132 centimeters (52 inches) in men, and 116 centimeters (46 inches) in women, was linked to a doubled risk of death. For cardiovascular death there was a doubling in risk at a waist circumference of 123 cm among men and 105 cm in women.

“People have long known that that a large waistline there is a strong link between disorders of glucose and fat metabolism in the body. The results provide a solid basis for showing that waistlines are an important factor that continues to have a significant effect on health even in the elderly,” commented Professor Annika Rosengren, who participated in the study.

The article, “The Association between Waist Circumference and Risk of Mortality Considering Body Mass Index in 65 to 74-Year-Olds: A meta-analysis of 29 cohorts involving more than 58,000 elderly persons,” was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Link to the article: http://bit.ly/JBwuuf