Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X
BARRETO, Sandhi M.; PASSOS, Valéria M. A. and LIMA-COSTA, Maria Fernanda F.. Obesity and underweight among Brazilian elderly: the Bambuí Health and Aging Study. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.2, pp.605-612. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000200027.
The coexistence of obesity (body mass index, BMI ³ 30kg/m2) and underweight (BMI £ 20kg/m2) and related factors were investigated among all residents aged 60+ years in Bambuí, Minas Gerais State, using multinomial logistic regression. 1,451 (85.5%) of the town's elderly participated. Mean BMI was 25.0 (SD = 4.9kg/m2) and was higher for women and decreased with age. Prevalence of obesity was 12.5% and was positively associated with female gender, family income, hypertension, and diabetes and inversely related to physical activity. Underweight affected 14.8% of participants, increased with age, and was higher among men and low-income families. It was negatively associated with hypertension and diabetes and directly associated with Trypanosoma cruzi infection and ³ 2 hospitalizations in the previous 12 months. Both obesity and underweight were associated with increased morbidity. The association of underweight with T. cruzi infection, increased hospitalization, and low family income may reflect illness-related weight loss and social deprivation of elderly in this community. Aging in poverty may lead to an increase in nutritional deficiencies and health-related problems among the elderly.
Keywords : Aging Health; Obesity; Body Mass Index.