Association between Body Size and Mortality in Later Life

TitleAssociation between Body Size and Mortality in Later Life
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsHimes, CL
Series TitleAging Study Program Paper
Document Number21
InstitutionSyracuse University, Center for Policy Research
CitySyracuse, NY
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status

The rising prevalence of obesity in the United States has focused attention on the health
consequences of excess weight. Obesity is linked to many of the major causes of death in the
United States, including heart disease, some types of cancer, strokes, diabetes, and
atherosclerosis. However, the effects of body size on mortality and health among the elderly are
much less clear. This paper extends our current understanding of the relationship between body
size and mortality by using two nationally representative, longitudinal datasets of individuals at
older ages. These analyses indicate that obesity may not contribute greatly to increased mortality
risks after age 70. In fact, obesity may be somewhat protective and lower the risk of death. At
younger ages, however, the effects of obesity tend to operate in the opposite direction. Women
especially appear to be at greater risk of death in their 50s and 60s if they are overweight.

Endnote Keywords

Obesity/Mortality/Health Status

Endnote ID


Citation Key5421