Lifestyle

How do weight changes and physical functioning affect mortality in older women?

In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that included 5,039 older women who were followed for an average of 5.4 years, loss of 5% or more body weight was associated with a 66% higher risk of dying. Weight gain was not related to mortality.

Higher grip strength and better lower extremity functioning were associated with lower risks of death during follow-up, regardless of weight change.

“Our findings support increasing efforts to improve mobility and muscle strength in older women and less focus on long-term weight loss in this population,” said lead author Lisa Underland, DO, of Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.