Journal Article

Invited Commentary: Body Composition in Studies of Aging: New Opportunities to Better Understand Health Risks Associated with Weight

Tamara B. Harris

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 156, issue 2, pages 122-124
Published in print July 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online July 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwf024
Invited Commentary: Body Composition in Studies of Aging: New Opportunities to Better Understand Health Risks Associated with Weight

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The expected increase in the proportion of older persons over the next century underscores the need to identify modifiable risk factors for disease and disability in this population. One such risk factor is weight, which plays a role in many of the diseases common in old age and contributes to risk of disability and death. However, there is confusion and controversy regarding health risks associated with weight in old age. The emergence of new technologies to assess body composition should allow opportunities to better understand health risks associated with weight in old age, as suggested by the new report in this issue of the Journal. While application of these technologies to population studies will still require careful attention to methodological caveats important in studies of weight, the ability to separately examine lean mass, bone, and fat should shed light on the underlying biologic processes pertinent to risk. Am J Epidemiol 2002;156:122–4.

Keywords: aging; body composition; cachexia; disability evaluation; methods; obesity

Journal Article.  2424 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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