The Older Woman

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Brisk walking may help older women live longer

Brisk walking may help older women live longer

Older women who undertake moderate to vigorous physical activity, such as brisk walks, can lower risk of death from all causes.

This was the results of a large US study which measured activity in older woman for 4 years by fitting them with a new generation of activity trackers called “triaxial accelerometers”.  The study was part of the famous Women’s Health Study. The total number of participants included was 16,741, and their average age was 72 years.  It was published in the November 2017 edition of ‘Circulation’

This finding is not new but what this study did reveal was the size of the risk reduction, which was much greater than previously found:  The most active 25 % of the women had a 60–70 percent lower risk of dying over the follow-up period than the least active 25%.

The researchers found no link between reduced risk of death and light-intensity physical activity but did point out that even light activity may have other benefits on other health outcomes.

 

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Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Maintaining #Weight Loss is as Important as Losing it for #Postmenopusal women

New research has shown that gaining weight back after intentional weight loss is associated with negative long-term effects on some cardiometabolic (CM) risk factors in postmenopausal women.

Researchers wanted to look at how weight regain affects health risk in postmenopusal women, specifically on CM factors which include blood pressure, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose and insulin. Results showed that all CM risk factors improved with weight loss, but most regressed back to their baseline values 12 months later, especially for women who were classified as ‘regainers. For women who had regained weight in the year after their weight loss, several risk factors were actually worse than before they lost the weight.

The researchers evaluated 112 obese, postmenopausal women averaging 58 years of age, through a five-month weight loss intervention and a subsequent 12 month non-intervention period. Body weight/composition and CM risk factors were analysed before and after the weight loss intervention and at six and 12 months after the intervention. During the intervention, women lost, an average of 25 pounds (a significant amount), and 80 women returned for at least one followup measurement. Weight regain status was based on whether a participant regained at least four pounds during the follow-up period. Two-thirds of the women fell into this category and, on average, regained approximately 70 percent of lost weight. Further, it was found that when postmenopausal women lost weight and gained it back, they regained it mostly in the form of fat, rather than muscle.

The research showed that for postmenopausal women, even partial weight regain following intentional weight loss was associated with increased cardiometabolic risk. Conversely, maintenance of or continued weight loss is associated with sustained improvement in the cardiometabolic profile. So for overweight, older women is to approach weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change, with weight maintenance just as important as weight loss.

This work was supported by the NIH (R01-AG/DK20583, R01-HL093713 and F32-AG039186), Wake Forest University Claude D Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (P30- AG21332), and Wake Forest University General Clinical Research Center (M01-RR07122). Co-authors are: Barbara Nicklas, Ph.D., and Mary F. Lyles, M.D., of Wake Forest Baptist.Journal of Gerontology: Medical sciences

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Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Eating more fruit and veg and being more #active really does help older #women live longer

Fruit and Vegetable Intake, Physical Activity, and Mortality in Older Community-Dwelling Women

A recent study was undertaken to examine the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity, and all-cause mortality in older women. The study was carried out in Baltimore, Maryland on 713 women aged 70 to 79 participating in the Women’s Health and Aging Studies.  The women were followed for 5 years

Total serum carotenoids was measured which is a marker of fruit and vegetable intake, and physical activity were measured at baseline. Physical activity was measured according to kilocalorie expenditure.

Results showed that physical activity improved survival and the most active women were more likely to survive than the least physically active women.  Higher measures of carotenoids improved survival with women in the highest third of intake more likely to survive those in the lowest third.

The researchers concluded that the combination of low total serum carotenoids and low physical activity, both modifiable risk factors, strongly predicted earlier mortality. These findings provide preliminary support that higher fruit and vegetable intake and exercise improve survival.

 

Posted: 06/13/2012; in Nicklett et al., J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012;60(5):862-868

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