Bone Loss, Weight Loss, and Weight Fluctuation Predict Mortality Risk in Elderly Men and Women

Authors

  • Nguyen D Nguyen,

    1. Bone and Mineral Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Jacqueline R Center,

    1. Bone and Mineral Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • John A Eisman,

    1. Bone and Mineral Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Faculty of Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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    • Dr Eisman serves as a consultant and receives corporate appointment from Amgen, deCode, Eli Lilly and Company, GE-Lunar, Merck Sharp & Dohme Ltd., Novartis, Organon, Roche-GSK, Sanofi-Aventis, and Servier. All other authors state that they have no conflict of interest.

  • Tuan V Nguyen PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Bone and Mineral Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Faculty of Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    • Bone and Mineral Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital, 384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
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Abstract

Low baseline BMD, rate of BMD loss, weight loss, and weight fluctuation are significant predictors of all-cause mortality in elderly men and women, independent of each other and of age, incident fracture, and concomitant diseases.

Introduction: Although low BMD has been shown to be associated with mortality in women, the effect of BMD is affected by weight and weight change and the contribution of these factors to mortality risk, particularly in men, is not known. This study examined the association between baseline BMD, rate of bone loss, weight loss, and weight fluctuation and all-cause mortality risk in elderly men and women.

Materials and Methods: Data from 1059 women and 644 men, ≥60 years of age (as of 1989), of white background who participated in the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study were analyzed. All-cause mortality was recorded annually between 1989 and 2004. BMD at the femoral neck was measured by DXA (GE-LUNAR) at baseline and at approximately every 2 yr afterward. Data on incident osteoporotic fractures and concomitant diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, all types of cancer, and type I/II diabetes mellitus, was also recorded.

Results: In the multivariable Cox's proportional hazards model with adjustment for age, incident fractures, and concomitant diseases, the following variables were independent risk factors of all-cause mortality in men: rate of BMD loss of at least 1%/yr, rate of weight loss of at least 1%/yr, and weight fluctuation (defined by the CV) of at least 3%. In women, in addition to the significant factors observed in men, lower baseline BMD was also an independent risk factor of mortality. In both sexes, baseline weight was not an independent and significant predictor of mortality risk. Approximately 36% and 22% of deaths in women and men, respectively, were attributable to the four risk factors.

Conclusions: These data suggest that, although low BMD was a risk factor of mortality in women, it was not a risk factor of mortality in men. However, high rates of BMD loss, weight loss, and weight fluctuation were also independent predictors of all-cause mortality in elderly men and women, independent of age, incident fracture, and concomitant diseases.

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