Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Body Mass Index and Survival

Good news for the overweight older adult - as long as they continue to be active.

Researchers found that older adults who were classified as overweight ran a lower risk of death from all causes including heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease , than those classified as normal weight, underweight, and obese. The researchers also found that older adults who were sedentary ran a higher risk of death than those who exercised.

It's not completely clear why overweight older adults appear to run a lower risk of death than others. But it's possible that carrying some extra weight, or having extra "nutritional reserves," may help older adults survive if, for example, they become ill, the researchers write in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Source: Leon Flicker, PhD, Kieran A. McCaul, PhD, Graeme J Hankey, MD, Konrad Jamrozik, PhD, Wendy J. Brown, PhD, Julie E. Byles, PhD, and Osvaldo P. Almeida, PhD.(2010) "Body Mass Index and Survival in Older Men and Women Aged 70 to 75 Years" ournal of the American Geriatrics Society (Volume 59, Issue 2).

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