Abdominal aortic calcification is an emerging risk factor for rapid weight loss in older women, which in turn increases the likelihood of falls and fractures. This was discovered in a study published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB).
The study included 929 older women. Over a five-year follow-up period, 39.4% experienced rapid weight loss, defined as a loss of more than 5% in body weight over any 12-month period. Study participants were in a group with an increased risk of death. Over the next 9.5 years, this risk was 49% higher, and for women who lost more than 10% of weight in a year, the risk increased by 87%.
An interesting finding is that extensive or moderate abdominal aortic calcification was associated with a risk of rapid weight loss of 36% and 58%, respectively. These results did not change even after adjusting for diet, blood pressure, cholesterol and physical activity.
The traditional approach to weight loss therapy typically involves increasing protein and energy intake. However, this study found that the women in the study lost weight by consuming enough nutrients and calories.
One proposed mechanism is that calcification of the abdominal aorta may limit blood flow to the intestine and affect nutrient absorption. This is why dietary interventions tend to be ineffective for weight loss in older adults.
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