Weight Loss in Elderly Ups Risk of Death
A study of nearly five thousand elderly people has revealed that even a small amount of weight loss is associated with a significantly increased risk of death. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that people who lost weight were more than twice as likely to die during the 3-year-long study period as those whose weight remained stable - even after researchers excluded people who were hospitalised or had recently been diagnosed with cancer or heart disease. Results also showed that people who gained weight were also at greater risk of death, however the increased risk was much smaller at just 11%. Further analysis revealed that even those who lost weight intentionally were still at increased risk of death. The researchers recommend that the weight of elderly people should be closely monitored, concluding: "Those with weight loss are on a trajectory of decline, even those without any of the most common serious health events."
SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 5th October 2001