Weight Change and All-Cause Mortality in Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis

Feon W. Cheng, Xiang Gao, Gordon L. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This meta-analysis of observational cohort studies examined the association between weight change (weight loss, weight gain, and weight fluctuation) and all-cause mortality among older adults. We used Pub Med (MEDLINE), Web of Science, and Cochrane Library to identify prospective studies published in English from inception to November 2014. Seventeen prospective studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this meta-analysis. Higher all-cause mortality risks were noted with weight change: weight loss (pooled RR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.51–1.85; p < 0.001 for heterogeneity), weight gain (pooled RR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.09–1.33; p = 0.03 for heterogeneity), and weight fluctuation (pooled RR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.36–1.72; p = 0.43 for heterogeneity). Similar results were observed with stricter criteria for sensitivity analyses. None of the study characteristics had statistically significant effects on the pooled RR, except for study quality on weight loss. Weight change is associated with higher mortality risk among community-dwelling adults 60 years and older.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-368
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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