Elderly people must maintain a normal weight to expand their life expectancy, claims study.
Research from Adventist Health Studies found that men over 75 with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 22.3 had a 3.7-year shorter life expectancy than their thinner counterparts.
Meanwhile, women over 75, with a BMI greater than 27.4, had a 2.1-year shorter life expectancy.
"We had a unique opportunity to do 29 years of follow-up with a cohort that was also followed for mortality outcomes," said Pramil N. Singh, DrPH, lead author of the paper and an associate professor in the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University.
"Across this long period of time, we had multiple measures of body weight, which provided a more accurate assessment.
"When you control for confounding by disease-related weight loss, overweight and obesity remain a risk for persons over the age of 75.
"This suggests that elderly individuals of normal weight should continue to maintain their weight," he added.
The study was recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.