The Association Between Body Mass Index and Comorbidity, Quality of Life, and Cognitive Function in the Elderly Population

Document Type: Original Article


1 Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

2 Shiraz Geriatric Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

3 Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Debate still exists regarding physical and cognitive factors associated with Body Mass
Index (BMI) in the elderly population. This study aimed to determine the association between BMI
and comorbidity, Quality of Life (QOL), and cognitive function in the elderly population.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2017 to January 2018. The
participants included 246 old people who referred to Imam Reza elderly clinic, Shiraz, Iran. The
data were collected using Leipad Quality of Life Questionnaire and Mini-Mental State Examination
(MMSE). Indeed, weight and height were measured to assess the BMI. The data were entered into
SPSS, version 21, and analyzed using ANOVA, Chi-square test, Pearson correlation coefficient, and
multiple regression analysis.
Results: This study showed that 104 (47%) of the participants were overweight and obese. The
mean±SD score of QOL was 46.14±12.01. Additionally, 93 (37.8%) of the participants had cognitive
impairment. The results showed a significant difference among normal weight, overweight, and obese
groups regarding the mean scores of QOL (P<0.001) and cognitive function (P<0.001). Moreover,
29% of the changes in BMI was explained by QOL, cognitive function, and having hypertension
and cancer. Among these variables, the associations between BMI and QOL (r=–0.52, P<0.001) and
cognitive function (r=–0.28, P<0.001) were significant.
Conclusion: The results showed that half of the old people suffered from overweight and obesity.
Moreover, roughly one-third had cognitive impairment. In addition, BMI was associated with QOL
and cognitive function in the elderly. Therefore, healthcare workers might use these findings to design prevention and treatment programs targeting the elderly population.


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