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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331732

Research Project: Rural Aging Study

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Weight change and all-cause mortality in older adults: A meta-analysis

Author
item Cheng, F - Pennsylvania State University
item Gao, X - Pennsylvania State University
item Jensen, G - Pennsylvania State University

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2015
Publication Date: 11/16/2015
Citation: Cheng, F.W., Gao, X., Jensen, G.L. 2015. Weight change and all-cause mortality in older adults: A meta-analysis. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics. 34(4):343-368. doi: 10.1080/21551197/2015/1090362.

Interpretive Summary: Problem Statement: Previous reviews of weight change and all-cause mortality have mainly focused on weight loss and not weight gain. Furthermore, most of them included both middle-aged and older adults in the same analysis, making it difficult to differentiate the effects of age in this relationship. Research Accomplishment: This meta-analysis of observational cohort studies examined the association between weight change (weight loss, weight gain, and weight fluctuation) and all-cause mortality among older adults. We used PubMed (MEDLINE), Web of Science, and Cochrane Library to identify prospective studies published in English from inception to November 2014. Seventeen prospective studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this meta-analysis. Higher all-cause mortality risks were noted with weight change: weight loss (pooled RR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.51–1.85; p<0.001 for heterogeneity), weight gain (pooled RR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.09–1.33; p=0.03 for heterogeneity), and weight fluctuation (pooled RR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.36–1.72; p=0.43 for heterogeneity). Similar results were observed with stricter criteria for sensitivity analyses. None of the study characteristics had statistically significant effects on the pooled RR, except for study quality on weight loss. Weight change is associated with higher mortality risk among community-dwelling adults 60 years and older. Research Contribution: Overall, we observed a higher mortality risk with weight change among noninstitutionalized adults 60 years and older. Although current results suggest a potential adverse effect of weight change on all-cause mortality among the aging population, more research is warranted to provide the specificity needed to develop meaningful public health and clinical guidelines.

Technical Abstract: This meta-analysis of observational cohort studies examined the association between weight change (weight loss, weight gain, and weight fluctuation) and all-cause mortality among older adults. We used PubMed (MEDLINE), Web of Science, and Cochrane Library to identify prospective studies published in English from inception to November 2014. Seventeen prospective studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this meta-analysis. Higher all-cause mortality risks were noted with weight change: weight loss (pooled RR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.51–1.85; p<0.001 for heterogeneity), weight gain (pooled RR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.09–1.33; p=0.03 for heterogeneity), and weight fluctuation (pooled RR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.36–1.72; p=0.43 for heterogeneity). Similar results were observed with stricter criteria for sensitivity analyses. None of the study characteristics had statistically significant effects on the pooled RR, except for study quality on weight loss. Weight change is associated with higher mortality risk among community-dwelling adults 60 years and older.