Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Excess Fat May Be "Protective" in Seniors Over 85

29.02.2012
Surprising TAU research finds obesity can decrease risk of mortality in people over 85 years of age
Obesity is considered the leading preventable cause of death worldwide — until you reach old age, that is. Though obesity increases the risk of an early death, shaving an average of six to seven years off a person's lifespan, Tel Aviv University researchers have found that this trend may reverse itself after the age of 85. In these people, excess fat seems to have a "protective" effect, decreasing the risk of death when compared to those who are considered at a normal body weight.

When we reach a very old age, some of the factors that affect mortality in younger people may no longer be significant, explain Prof. Jiska Cohen-Mansfield and Rotem Perach of the Herczeg Institute on Aging and the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Heavier people have lower rates of osteoporosis, which could decrease incidences of falls and subsequent injury. Obesity could also provide excess energy storage in times of trauma or stress, or prolong the period of weight loss caused by a decrease in appetite, a common occurrence as people near death.

This research was recently published in the Journal of Aging Research.

The survival effect

Research has consistently shown that people who are underweight in their old age have a higher mortality risk. But until now, the protective impact of obesity on mortality in this same age group has been unexplored.

The study was based on data collected as part of the Cross Sectional and Longitudinal Aging Study (CALAS), which included 1,349 people between the ages of 75-94. Participants were asked basic questions about their height and weight, age, gender, family, education, socioeconomic status, and smoking history. Two decades after the data was first collected, the researchers completed a mortality analysis on the original sample. During the course of these 20 years, 95 percent of the participants had died, leaving 59 subjects still living.

Obesity continued to be a predictor of death for those aged 75-84, notes Prof. Cohen-Mansfield. But past the age of 85, participants who were in the obese category were not only at lower risk of death than their underweight peers, but also appeared to be less at risk than those who had a normal weight as well.

There is a "selective survival" rate at play, say the researchers. Often, obese people die early in life due to obesity-related illnesses. So those who survive to old age could simply be more resilient. The same principle may be true of other factors, such as smoking.

Life at a cost

Though the findings are surprising, Prof. Cohen-Mansfield points out that obesity only has a protective effect when it comes to mortality. Quality of life, she warns, is another matter. "Though obese people over the age of 85 may be less at risk of death, they may suffer more from obesity-related illnesses," she says. "There are other factors to consider, such as pain, multiple ailments, and mobility."

To read the article, see:
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jar/2011/765071/

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Innovative autonomous system for identifying schools of fish

20.06.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling robots with brainwaves and hand gestures

20.06.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>