Variations in body mass index among older Americans: The roles of social and lifestyle factors

Sang Nam Ahn, Joseph R. Sharkey, Matthew Lee Smith, Marcia G. Ory, Charles D. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate the correlates of body mass index (BMI) among a national sample of older adults in the United States. Method: Data used in these analyses were part of the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Generalized ordered logistic regression was used to analyze difference between normal weight, overweight, moderately obese, and severely obese adults (n = 1,143) above the age of 65 years. Results: A higher BMI was more common among those with greater activities of daily living (ADL) limitations, greater use of prescription medicines (≥7), greater number of cardiovascular-related disorders (1 or ≥2), and those aged 65 to 74 years. Discussion: The findings acknowledge relationships between health characteristics, disability, and BMI among a national sample of older adults. These results suggest that prevention and management of health conditions, basic ADL, and BMI may be reasonable targets for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-366
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • ADL limitations
  • Caloric intake
  • Cardiovascularrelated disorders
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Ses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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