Weight Loss in Newly Admitted Nursing Home Residents With Obesity

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2023 Jun 1;78(6):966-972. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glac134.


Background: The prevalence of obesity (body mass index ≥ 30) among nursing home residents has been increasing, but there has been little research on weight change in this population. We examined resident characteristics associated with substantial weight loss among nursing home residents with obesity.

Methods: Using data from the Minimum Data Set 3.0, this retrospective study included long-stay nursing home residents with obesity newly admitted to a facility in 2014 who had annual assessments in 2015. Substantial weight loss was defined as a loss of ≥10% body weight within a year. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with weight loss, including demographic characteristics, medical conditions, and functional limitations in activities of daily living (ADL).

Results: Among 59782 newly admitted nursing home residents with obesity, 23% experienced substantial weight loss during their first year in the nursing home. Moderate ADL dependency (odds ratio [OR] = 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31-1.53), severe ADL dependency (OR = 1.83; 95% CI: 1.67-1.99), severe mobility impairment (OR = 1.15; 95% CI: 1.04-1.23), and severe cognitive impairment (OR = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.07-1.19), as well as cancer (OR = 1.10; 95% CI: 1.01-1.20), heart failure (OR = 1.06; 95% CI: 1.01-1.11), end-stage renal disease (OR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.11-1.23), and bowel incontinence (OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 1.14-1.25) were associated with weight loss.

Conclusion: Substantial weight loss is common among nursing home residents with obesity over a 1-year period following admission, and these residents have a greater burden of functional and cognitive impairment and specific medical conditions. These findings suggest the need to further elucidate the clinical implications of weight loss among this population.

Keywords: Long-term care; Obesity; Weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Weight Loss