Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 19–24

Body Mass Index is Inversely Related to Mortality in Elderly Subjects

  • Avraham Weiss
  • Yichayaou Beloosesky
  • Mona Boaz
  • Alexandra Yalov
  • Ran Kornowski
  • Ehud Grossman
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-007-0429-4

Cite this article as:
Weiss, A., Beloosesky, Y., Boaz, M. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2008) 23: 19. doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0429-4

Abstract

Purpose

To study the long-term effect of being overweight on mortality in very elderly subjects.

Methods

The medical records of 470 inpatients (226 males) with a mean age of 81.5 ± 7 years and hospitalized in an acute geriatric ward between 1999 and 2000 were reviewed for this study. Body mass index (BMI) at admission day was subdivided into quartiles: <22, 22–25, 25.01–28, and ≥28 kg/m2. Patients were followed-up until August 31, 2004. Mortality data were taken from death certificates.

Results

During a mean follow-up of 3.46 ± 1.87 years (median 4.2 years [range 1.6 to 5.34 years]), 248 patients died. Those who died had lower baseline BMI than those who survived (24.1 ± 4.2 vs 26.3 ± 4.6 kg/m2; p < .0001). The age-adjusted mortality rate decreased from 24 to 9.6 per 100 patient-years from the highest to lowest BMI quartile (p < .001). BMI was associated with all-cause and cause-specific mortality even after controlling for sex. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards model identified that even after controlling for male gender, age, renal failure, and diabetes mellitus, which increased the risk of all-cause mortality, elevated BMI decreased the all-cause mortality risk.

Conclusions

In very elderly subjects, elevated BMI was associated with reduced mortality risk.

KEY WORDS

elderly body mass index mortality 

Abbreviations

BMI

body mass index

BP

blood pressure

mmHg

millimeter Hg (mercury)

mg/dL

milligram/deciliter

Kg

kilogram

cm

centimeter

m2

meter square

SD

standard deviation

IHD

ischemic heart disease

CHF

congestive heart failure

HR

hazard ratios

CI

confidence intervals

PH

proportional hazards

EHF = Ĥ0(t)

empirical cumulative hazards function

vs

versus

WC

waist circumference

SBP

systolic blood pressure

DBP

diastolic blood pressure

ACE

angiotensin converting enzyme

M/F

males/females

beats/min

beats per minute

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avraham Weiss
    • 1
  • Yichayaou Beloosesky
    • 1
  • Mona Boaz
    • 2
  • Alexandra Yalov
    • 1
  • Ran Kornowski
    • 3
  • Ehud Grossman
    • 4
  1. 1.Geriatric Department, Beilinson HospitalThe Rabin Medical CenterPetach-TikvaIsrael
  2. 2.Epidemiology and Research UnitWolfson Medical CenterHolonIsrael
  3. 3.Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories, Department of CardiologyRabin Medical CenterPetach-TikvaIsrael
  4. 4.Internal Medicine D and Hypertension Unit, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-HashomerSackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

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