Trajectory classes of body mass index in a representative elderly community sample.
BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether distinct weight-related trajectory classes, differing in course, demographics, and health characteristics, exist in the elderly population. METHODS: Data came from the 10-year (1986-1996) Duke Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly study of 3,861 black (54%) and white (46%) participants aged 65-105 years. Latent-class trajectories of body mass index (BMI: kg/m(2)) based on self-reported weight and height at baseline, 3, 6, and 10 years later were determined using generalized mixture models. Polytomous logistic regression was used to identify baseline demographic and health characteristics that distinguished the trajectories, and 10-year postbaseline data to confirm the findings. RESULTS: We identified three trajectories: normal weight (BMI ~24, 27.6% of the sample), overweight (BMI ~26, 65.1%), and obese (BMI ~31, 7.3%). Demographic characteristics distinguished the three trajectories: highest odds of blacks, women, and less education in the obese trajectory, lowest in the normal-weight trajectory. Obese and overweight differed adversely from normal-weight trajectories, but not significantly from each other on cognitive impairment, hypertension, and diabetes. Depressive symptomatology was more prevalent in the obese; they were also younger. There was no association with cancer or heart disease. CONCLUSION: Distinct trajectories and course of BMI were present in this older population. Weight loss increased with increase in BMI class. Although demographic characteristics distinguished all trajectory classes, adverse health characteristics distinguished the overweight and obese classes from the normal-weight class, but not from each other. Problems associated with education and health are present at study entry and should be addressed earlier in life.
Kuchibhatla, MN; Fillenbaum, GG; Kraus, WE; Cohen, HJ; Blazer, DG
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