Overweight Elderly Face Mortality Risk From Cardiovascular Disease And Stroke

Friday, December 1st, 2017 | 224 Views

Cardiovascular disease and stroke are the two main contributors of mortality in overweight and obese individuals aged 65 and above, according to a study by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The study investigated the age-dependent associations of body mass index (BMI) categories with all-cause (all-cause mortality refers to death from any cause) and cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality.

Populations in Asia are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases than their Western counterparts, and Asians with the same BMI as their Western counterparts have higher body fat percentages and greater abdominal and visceral fat deposition. Thus, the World Health Organisation recommended lowering the BMI cut-offs for Asian adults for overweight from 25 to 23 kg/m2 and for obesity from 30 to 27.5 kg/m2.

The longitudinal ageing study gathered data from 2,605 adults aged 55 and above in Singapore from 2003 to 2011 on their mortality hazard ratios for all-cause mortality as well as cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality.

The study found that for older persons aged 65 and above, being overweight or obese was not typically associated with all-cause mortality, but specifically with mortality from cardiovascular disease or stroke. And older persons who are underweight are at risk of degenerative illnesses such as sarcopenia.

Individuals with a healthy BMI of 23 to 24.9 faced the lowest overall mortality risk, while among those aged 55 to 64, the underweight (BMI below 18.5 to 22.9) and overweight or obese (BMI over 30) faced increased all-cause mortality risk.

The study recommended that older persons who are obese and have metabolic complications may benefit from weight loss through exercise.