August 28, 2017
1 min read

Weight loss tied to all-cause mortality

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Weight loss of 15% or more and weight gain of 20% or more are both associated with increased all-cause mortality in adults, but the risk is more pronounced with weight loss, according to findings published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Won-Young Lee, MD, PhD, of the division of endocrinology and metabolism, department of internal medicine at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, and colleagues evaluated data from the National Health Insurance System between 2005 and 2015 on 11,524,763 adults to determine the association between weight change and subsequent all-cause mortality. Participants had their weight measured every 2 years; weight change over 4 years was divided into eight categories from 15% or more weight loss to 20% or more weight gain. Mean observational time was 5.2 years.

Overall, 212,704 deaths occurred from all-causes. Participants with weight loss of more than 15% had the highest death rate (8.67%); the lowest death rate (1.3%) was in participants with weight gain between 5% and 10%.

The risk for all-cause mortality was highest in participants with at least 15% weight loss compared with the other groups (HR = 2.598; 95% CI, 2.537-2.659). Men had a higher HR for mortality compared with women except in the groups with weight loss of at least 15% and weight gain of at least 20%. The HR for mortality was higher with weight loss and lower with weight gain among participants younger than 60 years compared with participants aged 60 years or older.

Weight loss of at least 15% was associated with increased mortality rates regardless of BMI category. The highest mortality rate was observed in participants with BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 and lowest among participants with BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2 in participants. Among participants with BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2, any weight loss and 5% to 10% and 10% to 15% weight gains were associated with increased mortality.

“Further research is required to establish the association between weight change and mortality by taking into account the intentional element of weight loss and body composition,” the researchers wrote. “Moreover, studies on cause specific mortality according to weight change are also required to determine the underlying mechanisms.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.