Losing weight when we’re old is a bad sign: it can be a precursor of heart disease and cancer, a new study has discovered.
It’s also a predictor of imminent death, especially if you’re a man. Men in their seventies who lose more than 10 percent of their body weight are nearly three times (289 percent) more likely to die in the next few years, while the risk rises by 114 percent in women with similar weight loss.
Losing five percent of body weight raises the risk of death by 33 percent in men and 26 percent in women.
Researchers from Monash University in Australia saw the impact of gradual weight loss in old age when they tracked the health of 16,500 participants who were 75 years old at the start of the four-year study. Men who maintained their body weight had just an 8 percent risk of dying during the study, while the risk for women was 5.5 percent.