Body mass index (BMI), body composition and mortality of nursing home elderly residents

Simcha Kimyagarov, Raisa Klid, Shalom Levenkrohn, Yudit Fleissig, Bella Kopel, Marina Arad, Abraham Adunsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The body mass index (BMI) is a key marker of nutritional status among older patients, but does not reflect changes in body composition, The aim of the present study was to investigate BMI levels and body composition in a sample of disabled nursing home residents, and to study possible interrelations between BMI, fat-free body mass (FFM), body fat mass (BFM), skeletal muscle mass (SMM) and 1-year mortality rates. FFM and SMM were assessed by 24-h urine creatinine excretion and BFM as the difference between BMI and FFM. We calculated relative risk (RR) and odds ratio (OR) of 1-year mortality, associated with different levels of BMI, FFM index (where index=value/height2), SMM index and BFM index in 82 disabled institutionalized elderly patients. One-year mortality rate was 29.3%. Adjusted relative risk of mortality of low BMI patients was 1.45 (95% CI=0.73-2.89; OR=1.73) and 0.63 (95% CI=0.33-1.60; OR=0.72) in high BMI. Risk of mortality was higher in those having low FMM index or SMM index (RR=2.42, 95% CI=0.36-16.18; OR=2.55 and RR=3.22, 95% CI=0.78-13.32; OR=3.67, respectively). It is concluded that low FFM and SMM indexes among disabled nursing home residents are far better predictors than BMI for 1-year mortality estimation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-230
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Body composition
  • Body mass index
  • Mortality of elderly
  • Nursing home


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