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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Carolina: Study Examines Obesity, Dietary Inflammation and Frailty Among Older Adults

Researchers in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health have completed a study examining obesity, dietary inflammation, and frailty among older adults. Led by assistant professor of epidemiology Dr. Matthew Lohman, this research was published in Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics.

Because knowledge about the relationship between obesity and frailty is limited, the researchers aimed to investigate the associations between obesity, dietary inflammation, and frailty among older adults.

The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2014). They analyzed information related to 7182 participants ages 60 and older. Dietary inflammation levels were determined based on a 24-hour dietary recall and using the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®).

Dr. Lohman and his team evaluated the interaction between obesity and DII with frailty by examining independent and joint associations of these factors. They used multivariable logistic regression to reveal that both obesity and moderately pro-inflammatory DII were independently associated with great frailty prevalence. They also found a negative multiplicative interaction between obesity and the highest pro-inflammatory diets.

The authors concluded that these results indicate the importance of considering obesity and dietary inflammation when screening for frailty or developing related treatments.