Underweight and obese women more likely to die before age 85

Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

SEATTLE, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Women underweight and obese women are more likely to die before the age of 85 while overweight and obese women had higher risk of disease, U.S. researchers say.

Eileen Rillamas-Sun of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues examined whether higher body mass index and waist circumference in older women decreased their chances of living to age 85 without major disease or disability. A healthy weight BMI was 18.5 to less than 25, overweight was 25 to less than 30 and obese was 30 to greater than 40.

The study involved 36,611 women from the Women's Health Initiative who were an average age of 72 at baseline. Of the women, 19 percent were classified as healthy, 14.7 percent had prevalent disease, 23.2 percent had incident disease, 18.3 percent had a mobility disability such as using crutches, a walker or a wheelchair or a limited ability to walk and 24.8 percent died.

The study's findings, published in Internal Medicine, found underweight and obese women were more likely to die before the age of 85 while overweight and obese women had higher risks of incident disease and mobility disability. A waist circumference greater than almost 35 inches was associated with a higher risk of early death, incident disease and mobility disability, the study said.

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