High Fat-Free Mass Linked To Lower Mortality In Men

Dr. med. Laurence Genton, FMH Médecine Interne Médecin adjointe agrégée, chargée de cours Nutrition Clinique Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève GenèveMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. med. Laurence Genton
, FMH Médecine Interne
Médecin adjointe agrégée, chargée de cours
Nutrition Clinique
Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève
Genève

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Several studies have shown that body mass index is linked to mortality through a U- or J-curve, i.e. that a low and maybe a high body mass index are related to a higher risk of mortality in elderly people. However, body mass index consists of fat mass and fat-free mass, and the former studies cannot differentiate the impact of these body compartments. However, this differentiation may be important to guide our public health care strategies. For instance, fat and fat-free mass can both be reduced by hypocaloric diet and endurance exercise, while fat-free mass can be increased with adequate calorie and protein intakes, resistance exercise and anabolic treatments. Thus, this study aimed at evaluating the impact of fat mass and fat-free mass on mortality.

We found that body mass index and body composition did not predict mortality in older women. However, a high fat-free mass was associated with a lower risk of mortality in men, even when adjusting for body mass index.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: In older people, a body mass index in the overweight or obese range is not a predictor of mortality. Thus, dieting in older overweight or obese people may not be beneficial. However, men should aim at having the highest muscle mass possible, as a high fat-free mass has been associated with lower mortality. This could be achieved by resistance exercises, adequate calorie and protein intakes and hormonal therapies.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should focus on the impact of interventions improving fat-free mass on mortality, in older people, especially in older men. Furthermore, it would be interesting to evaluate the impact of fat-free mass on mortality, when adjusting for other components of physical fitness, as muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. This would allow to determine which factor is the most important with regard to outcome.

Citation:

Body composition and all-cause mortality in subjects older than 65 y
Christophe E Graf, Véronique L Karsegard, Adrian Spoerri, Anne-Marie Makhlouf, Sylvain Ho, François R Herrmann, and Laurence Genton

Am J Clin Nutr 2015 ajcn.102566; First published online February 11, 2015. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.102566

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Dr. med. Laurence Genton (2015). High Fat-Free Mass Linked To Lower Mortality In Men MedicalResearch.com

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