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Association of body mass index and waist circumference with successful ageing: 16 year follow-up of the Whitehall II study

By Archana Singh-Manoux, Séverine Sabia, Kim Bouillon, Eric J Brunner, Francine Grodstein, Alexis Elbaz and Mika Kivimaki


Objective: We examined whether midlife body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) predict successful ageing. Design and Methods BMI/WC were assessed in 4869 persons (mean age 51.2, range 42–63 in 1991/93) and survival and successful ageing (alive, no chronic disease at age >60 years, not in the worst age- and sex-standardized quintile of cognitive, physical, respiratory, and cardiovascular, and mental health) ascertained over a 16-year follow-up, analysed using logistic regression adjusted for socio-demographic factors and health behaviours. Results: 507 participants died, 1008 met the criteria for successful ageing. Those with BMI≥30 kg/m2 had lower odds of successful ageing (Odds Ratio (OR)=0.37; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.27, 0.50) and survival (OR=0.55; 95% CI: 0.41, 0.74) compared to BMI between 18.5–25 kg/m2. Those with a large waist circumference (≥102/88 cm in men/women) had lower odds of successful ageing (OR=0.41; 95% CI: 0.31, 0.54) and survival (OR=0.57; 95% CI: 0.44, 0.73) compared to those with a small waist (<94/80 cm in men/women). Analysis with finer categories showed lower odds of successful ageing starting at BMI ≥23.5 kg/m2 and waist circumference 82/68 cm in men/women. Conclusions: Optimal midlife BMI and waist circumference for successful ageing might be substantially below the current thresholds used to define obesity

Topics: obesity, body mass index, waist circumference, ageing
Publisher: 'Wiley'
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1002/oby.20651.
OAI identifier:

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