Changes in physical characteristics and body composition during 5-year follow-up in 75- and 80-year-old men and women.Scand J Soc Med Suppl. 1997; 53:19-24.SJ
A five-year longitudinal study was conducted to examine the changes observed in the physical characteristics and body composition assessed by bioimpedance in 75- and 80-year-old men and women. During the follow-up, there was a systematic decline in body height in all groups studied, the mean changes being somewhat higher in women (1.3-1.6 cm) than in men (0.9-1.1 cm). Body weight and lean body mass declined in women in both age groups and in men in the younger group, whereas no significant changes were observed in the 80-year-old men. The relative proportion of body fat did not change with increasing age in any of the groups studied. Among 80-year-olds, the men participating in the follow-up showed some tendency to have more fat in the baseline than those who subsequently died, while the corresponding group of women tended to be somewhat taller than the other drop-outs. The results support the earlier observations on the age-related decrease in body height, and in the case of women, also on reduced body weight and lean body mass with old age.