, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 107-119
Date: 05 Jan 2013

The Independent Effect of Age Groups on the Effectiveness of Lifestyle Intervention

Abstract

The impact of age on anthropometric measures, body composition, and metabolic risk factors following a lifestyle intervention is usually evaluated after adjustment for age at baseline; however, this strategy does not provide a clear clinical message other than age is a predictor of the responses. The objective of this review was to evaluate the independent effect of age groups on anthropometric measures, body composition, and metabolic risk factors following a lifestyle modification (exercise, diet, or combined intervention) in studies that included at least two different adult age groups. Eighty-five percent of studies reviewed reported significant differences among evaluated age groups on at least one studied outcome. In general, when a difference was observed among age groups, the advantage was to the oldest group studied, especially in the reduction of body weight, blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes risk. This is of crucial importance to health care providers because the impact of lifestyle modification interventions may be different among age groups. It is thus essential in future studies to stratify results by age group in order to provide a clear message on the impact of the intervention in different age groups, instead of merely adjusting results according to age.