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A recent study suggests that women who experience weight fluctuations after 60 years have a reduced likelihood of living into their 90s compared to those who maintain a stable weight. This contradicts conventional health advice promoting weight loss in older women to extend their lifespan.

Maintaining weigh above 60 years increases lifespan

A University of California San Diego study examined data from 54,437 women in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a project focused on postmenopausal women and chronic disease causes. Results revealed that 56% of WHI participants, or 30,647 women, lived to be 90 or older.

A study found that women aged 60 and above who maintained a consistent weight had a higher chance of living past 90, compared to those who lost 5% or more of their weight. Unintentional weight loss reduced the likelihood of reaching 90 by 51%. Surprisingly, gaining 5% or more in weight did not increase the chances of exceptional longevity, emphasizing the significance of weight stability.

Study author Dr Aladdin Shadyab said that aging women unintentionally losing weight may signal poor health and reduced lifespan. Many older US women are overweight or obese (BMI 25-35), making maintaining stable weight crucial for longevity.

Intentional weight loss reduces longevity in older women

Scientists observe that females who intentionally shed over 5% of their body weight may experience reduced longevity. Nonetheless, they propose that the weight loss might not necessarily be attributed to their deliberate efforts. In their research paper researchers said that while they discovered that women who claimed to have intentionally lost weight showed diminished prospects of living longer, it is conceivable that a portion of self-reported intentional weight loss may have actually been unintentional.”

Nevertheless, the authors advise that women who have received medical recommendations to shed a moderate amount of weight for health and enhanced quality of life should adhere to their healthcare provider’s guidance.

This research represents the inaugural comprehensive study into the association between weight fluctuations in the later stages of life and the attainment of remarkable longevity. The findings have been published in the Journals of Gerontology.