Hong Kong Med J 2007;13(Suppl 4):S13-6
Obesity and mortality in a prospective Chinese elderly cohort
CM Schooling, TH Lam, ZB Li, SY Ho, WM Chan, KS Ho, MK Tham, BJ Cowling, GM Leung
Department of Community Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 5/F William MW Mong Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China
1. Research suggesting that obesity is not causally related to mortality in older people could be biased, because body mass index at older ages may represent not only adiposity but also health status and closeness to death. These factors can mask the detrimental effect of adiposity on survival.
2. In healthy, never-smoking, older persons, obesity was associated with higher mortality.
3. In older persons, body mass index should be considered in the context of overall health status, as thinness or sudden weight loss may be an indicator of other health problems.
4. Interventions to prevent obesity at all ages are needed so that obesity does not become an overwhelming public health problem.