"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Weight loss in older people is related to higher risk of death

April 11, 2023 – Weight loss in older people, especially men, was linked to a better risk of death in a study published Monday JAMA network opened.

The study involved greater than 16,000 Australians over 70 and greater than 2,400 Americans over 65 who didn't suffer from heart problems, dementia, disability or a “life-limiting” chronic illness. They were weighed at annual check-ups between 2010 and 2014.

“This cohort study of healthy older adults suggests that weight loss was associated with an increase in all-cause and cause-specific mortality, including increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other life-threatening conditions,” the authors wrote. “Physicians should be aware of the importance of weight loss, especially in older men.”

According to the study, there may be a “significant association” between weight losses of greater than 5% and mortality. Men who lost between 5% and 10% of their weight had a 33% higher risk of death. Men who lost greater than 10% had a 289% higher risk.

The results were higher for ladies: they were capable of increase their weight reduction by 26% and 114% in each areas, respectively.

Older people sometimes shed weight because they lose their appetite, the study says. The results remained the identical no matter starting weight.

“Unexpected weight loss is associated with increased mortality even in overweight adults, regardless of other potential benefits of weight loss related to quality of life and other diseases,” the study says.

And weight gain at this age was not related to a corresponding increase in the chance of death.

“The research also found that weight loss may be associated with a higher risk of cancer diagnosis and a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other life-threatening diseases,” The hill reported.

The authors of the study say it's the most important of its kind they know of. One weakness is the “inability to distinguish between intentional and unintentional weight loss.”