Decreases in stature and weight are known to occur with old age, but there is limited knowledge of normal values for rates of change of these measures in the healthy elderly. In the present study, 122 elderly white women and 98 elderly white men were followed prospectively for 6 years. These participants were divided into 5 year cohorts based upon age at the start of the study in 1980. The slopes and intercepts of the separate linear regressions of stature and weight on age for each participant were analyzed. The present findings indicate that serial measures of stature decrease at a mean rate of about 0.5 cm/year, and that this rate of decline is approximately constant across age and sex. The changes in weight were small and negative, except for the lightest participants who recorded increases in weight.
Chumlea, W. M. Cameron; Garry, Philip J.; Hunt, William C.; and Rhyne, Robert L.
"Distributions of Serial Changes in Stature and Weight in a Healthy Elderly Population,"
6, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol60/iss6/9