Mortality risk in older men associated with changes in weight, lean mass, and fat mass

Christine G. Lee, Edward J. Boyko, Carrie M. Nielson, Marcia L. Stefanick, Douglas C. Bauer, Andrew R. Hoffman, Thuy Tien L. Dam, Jodi A. Lapidus, Peggy Mannen Cawthon, Kristine E. Ensrud, Eric S. Orwoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate risk of all-cause mortality associated with changes in body weight, total lean mass, and total fat mass in older men. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Setting: Six U.S. clinical centers. Participants: Four thousand three hundred thirty-one ambulatory men aged 65 to 93 at baseline. Measurements: Repeated measurements of body weight and total lean and fat mass were taken using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry 4.6 ± 0.4 years apart. Percentage changes in these measures were categorized as gain (+5%), loss (-5%), or stable (-5% to +5%). Deaths were verified centrally according to death certificate reviews, and proportional hazard models were used to estimate the risk of mortality. Results: After accounting for baseline lifestyle factors and medical conditions, a higher risk of mortality was found for men with weight loss (hazard rat (HR)=1.84, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.50-2.26), total lean mass loss (HR=1.78, 95% CI=1.45-2.19), and total fat mass loss (HR=1.72, 95% CI=1.34-2.20) than for men who were stable for each body composition measure. Men with total fat mass gain had a slightly greater mortality risk (HR=1.29, 95% CI=0.99-1.67) than those who remained stable. These associations did not differ according to baseline age, obesity, or self-reported health status (P for interactions >.10), although self-reported weight loss intent altered mortality risks with total fat mass (P for interaction=.04) and total lean mass (P for interaction=.09) change. Conclusion: Older men who lost weight, total lean mass, or total fat mass had a higher risk of mortality than men who remained stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • body composition
  • fat mass
  • lean mass
  • mortality
  • older men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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