A1 Journal article (refereed)
Body composition and changes in health-related quality of life in older age : a 10-year follow-up of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (2020)

Mikkola, T. M., Kautiainen, H., von Bonsdorff, M. B., Salonen, M. K., Wasenius, N., Kajantie, E., & Eriksson, J. G. (2020). Body composition and changes in health-related quality of life in older age : a 10-year follow-up of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. Quality of Life Research, 29(8), 2039-2050. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-020-02453-1

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Mikkola, Tuija M.; Kautiainen, Hannu; von Bonsdorff, Mikaela B.; Salonen, Minna K.; Wasenius, Niko; Kajantie, Eero; Eriksson, Johan G.

Journal or series: Quality of Life Research

ISSN: 0962-9343

eISSN: 1573-2649

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 29

Issue number: 8

Pages range: 2039-2050

Publisher: Springer

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-020-02453-1

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68130


Most studies examining the associations between body composition and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in older age have been cross-sectional and analyzed only fat or lean mass. Hence, it is poorly known whether fat and lean mass are independently associated with subsequent changes in HRQoL. We investigated whether baseline lean and fat mass are associated with changes in HRQoL over a 10-year period in older adults.

We studied 1044 men and women from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (age 57-70 years at baseline). Bioelectrical impedance analysis was used to derive baseline fat mass index (FMI, fat mass/height2) and lean mass index (lean mass/height2), dichotomized at sex-specific medians. HRQoL was assessed using RAND 36-item Health Survey at baseline and follow-up 10 years later.

When controlled for lean mass and adjusted for potential confounders, high baseline FMI was associated with a greater decline in general health (standardized regression coefficient [β] = - 0.13, p = 0.001), physical functioning (β = - 0.11, p = 0.002), role physical (β = - 0.13, p = 0.003), vitality (β = - 0.08, p = 0.027), role emotional (β = - 0.12, p = 0.007), and physical component score (β = - 0.14, p < 0.001). High baseline FMI was also associated with low HRQoL in all physical domains at baseline (β: from - 0.38 to - 0.10). Lean mass was not strongly associated with HRQoL at baseline or change in HRQoL.

In older community-dwelling adults, higher fat mass is, independent of lean mass, associated with lower physical HRQoL and greater decline in HRQoL. Prevention of adiposity may contribute to preservation of a good quality of life in older age.

Keywords: ageing; body composition; adipose tissues; obesity; muscle mass; quality of life; state of health

Free keywords: aging; body composition; fat mass; health-related quality of life; lean mass; obesity

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:46