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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sheena Ramsay
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Although body build is related to disability and mortality in older people, the independent contributions of adiposity and lean mass are not fully defined. The authors examined the relations of body composition (fat mass index, fat-free mass index) and adiposity (body mass index, waist circumference) to ill health and physical disability in a cross-sectional study of 4,252 British men aged 60-79 years in 1998-2000. Increased body mass index, waist circumference, and fat mass index were associated with increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease, overall ill health, and disability. Adjusted odds ratios of cardiovascular disease (top vs. bottom fifth) were 1.58 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23, 2.03) for fat mass index, 1.45 (95% CI: 1.14, 1.86) for body mass index, and 1.27 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.62) for waist circumference. For overall "poor/fair" health, the corresponding odds ratios were 1.71 (95% CI: 1.33, 2.21), 1.49 (95% CI: 1.17, 1.90), and 1.64 (95% CI: 1.28, 2.09) and, for mobility limitation, they were 1.56 (95% CI: 1.17, 2.06), 1.96 (95% CI: 1.48, 2.56), and 1.88 (95% CI: 1.42, 2.49). A high fat-free mass index was associated with only a decreased prevalence of respiratory problems and cancer (odds ratios = 0.45 (95% CI: 0.33, 0.62) and 0.62 (95% CI: 0.42, 0.94), respectively). Body fatness, not fat-free mass, is associated with cardiovascular disease and disability in older men. Simple measures of overweight, such as body mass index and waist circumference, are good indicators of the likelihood of morbidity in older men. Prevention of weight gain with increasing age is likely to reduce morbidity and disability among older men. Copyright © 2006 by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health All rights reserved.
Author(s): Ramsay SE, Whincup PH, Shaper AG, Wannamethee SG
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: American Journal of Epidemiology
Print publication date: 01/09/2006
Online publication date: 03/07/2006
ISSN (print): 0002-9262
ISSN (electronic): 1476-6256
Publisher: Oxford University Press
PubMed id: 16818465
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