Extent of Abdominal Aortic Calcification Is Associated with Incident Rapid Weight Loss over 5 Years: The Perth Longitudinal Study of Ageing Women

Cassandra Smith, Marc Sim, Jack Dalla Via, Abadi K. Gebre, Kun Zhu, Wai H. Lim, Ryan Teh, Douglas P. Kiel, John T. Schousboe, Itamar Levinger, Stephan Von Haehling, Richard Woodman, Andrew J.S. Coats, Richard L. Prince, Joshua R. Lewis

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BACKGROUND: Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC), a marker of vascular disease, is associated with disease in other vascular beds including gastrointestinal arteries. We investigated whether AAC is related to rapid weight loss over 5 years and whether rapid weight loss is associated with 9.5-year all-cause mortality in community-dwelling older women. METHODS: Lateral spine images from dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (1998/1999) were used to assess AAC (24-point AAC scoring method) in 929 older women. Over 5 years, body weight was assessed at 12-month intervals. Rapid weight loss was defined as >5% decrease in body weight within any 12-month interval. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression was used to assess AAC and rapid weight loss and Cox regression to assess the relationship between rapid weight loss and 9.5-year all-cause mortality. RESULTS: Mean±SD age of women was 75.0±2.6 years. During the initial 5 years, 366 (39%) women presented with rapid weight loss. Compared with women with low AAC (24-point AAC score 0-1), those with moderate (24-point AAC score 2-5: odds ratio, 1.36 [95% CI, 1.00-1.85]) and extensive (24-point AAC score 6+: odds ratio, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.10-2.31]) AAC had higher odds for presenting with rapid weight loss. Results remained similar after further adjustment for dietary factors (alcohol, protein, fat, and carbohydrates), diet quality, blood pressure, and cholesterol measures. The estimates were similar in subgroups of women who met protein intake (n=599) and physical activity (n=735) recommendations (extensive AAC: odds ratios, 1.81 [95% CI, 1.12-2.92] and 1.58 [95% CI, 1.02-2.44], respectively). Rapid weight loss was associated with all-cause mortality over the next 9.5 years (hazard ratio, 1.49 [95% CI, 1.17-1.89]; P=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: AAC extent was associated with greater risk for rapid weight loss over 5 years in older women, a risk for all-cause mortality. Since the association was unchanged after taking nutritional intakes into account, these data support the possibility that vascular disease may play a role in the maintenance of body weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E54-E64
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number2
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

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