Association of Body Fat With Health-Related Quality of Life and Depression in Nonagenarians: The Mugello Study

Silvia Giovannini, Claudio Macchi, Rossella Liperoti, Alice Laudisio, Daniele Coraci, Claudia Loreti, Federica Vannetti, Graziano Onder, Luca Padua, Mugello Study Working Group, Guglielmo Bonaccorsi, Roberta Boni, Chiara CastagnolI, Francesca Cecchi, Francesca Cesari, Francesco Epifani, Roberta Frandi, Betti Giusti, Maria Luisa Eliana Luisi, Rossella MarcucciRaffaello Molino-Lova, Anita Paperini, Lorenzo Razzolini, Francesco Sofi, Nona Turcan, Debora Valecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: The association of body fat with health status and depression in the oldest old is still debated. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to investigate the association of body fat with health-related quality of life and depression in a sample of nonagenarians. Design: Data are from the Mugello study, a community-based project conducted in Italian older adults aged 90 years. Setting and participants: Total body fat was assessed by body impedance assessment. Participants were divided into 3 groups according to gender-specific tertiles of body fat percentage (BF%). Self-perceived mental and physical health status were assessed by the Mental Component Summary (MCS) and the Physical Component Summary (PCS) subscales derived from the 12-item Short Form Health Survey. Lower scores of MCS and PCS indicated poorer mental health and physical health status, respectively. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale, and a score ≥5 was used to identify participants with depression. Results: The mean age of 251 study participants was 92.5 years, and 173 (68.9%) were women. Participants were included in the low (n = 83), medium (n = 83), and high (n = 85) BF% groups. In the whole sample, mean scores at PCS progressively declined with the increasing BF% group (P =.004). This association was stronger in women, although no significant interaction was observed between the gender and BF% group (P =.63). No significant association between BF% and MCS was documented. Medium and high BF% were associated with a significantly higher probability of depression as compared with low BF% [odds ratio (OR) 2.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-4.44, and OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.06-4.34, respectively]. This association was stronger in women, although no significant interaction was observed between gender and BF% group (P =.70). Conclusions and implications: High BF% is significantly positively associated with poor health-related quality of life and depression, underpinning the clinical relevance to test BF% in older adults. These associations appear to be stronger in women than in men, highlighting the need to investigate deep inside this gender discrepancy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019

Keywords

  • Body fat percentage
  • depression
  • nonagenarians
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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