Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Feature Article 

Informal Caregiving and Body Mass Index Among Older Adults

Kristi R. Jenkins, PhD; Mohammed U. Kabeto, MA; Nancy H. Fultz, PhD; Kenneth M. Langa, MD, PhD

Abstract

The authors sought to obtain nationally representative estimates of the time of informal caregiving provided to older adults classified into the four standard Body Mass Index (BMI) classifications. They estimated multivariate regression models using data from the 2000 Health and Retirement Study to determine the weekly hours of informal caregiving for older adults classified into the four standard BMI classifications. In the fully adjusted models, being underweight was associated with receiving significantly more informal care, however, obesity was not associated with more informal care. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of nursing practice and research to prevent weight loss and frailty.

Abstract

The authors sought to obtain nationally representative estimates of the time of informal caregiving provided to older adults classified into the four standard Body Mass Index (BMI) classifications. They estimated multivariate regression models using data from the 2000 Health and Retirement Study to determine the weekly hours of informal caregiving for older adults classified into the four standard BMI classifications. In the fully adjusted models, being underweight was associated with receiving significantly more informal care, however, obesity was not associated with more informal care. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of nursing practice and research to prevent weight loss and frailty.

Authors

Dr. Jenkins is Research Investigator, Mr. Kabeto is Research Associate and Dr. Langa is Assistant Research Scientist and Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, and Dr. Fultz is Research Investigator, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Address correspondence to Kristi R. Jenkins, PhD, Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106; e-mail: kristirj@isr.umich.edu

10.3928/00989134-20070401-06

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