Age is sometimes a barrier for acceptance of patients into a hospital‐based obesity service. Our aim was to explore the effect of age on the ability to lose weight through lifestyle interventions, implemented within a hospital‐based obesity service..
Primary outcome measures were percentage weight loss (%WL) and percentage reduction in body mass index (%rBMI) following implemented lifestyle interventions. Data were stratified according to patient age at referral: group 1 (age < 60 years, n = 167) and group 2 (age ≥ 60 years, n = 75). Weight loss was compared between groups, and correlations with age at referral were explored.
The duration of hospital‐based weight loss interventions ranged between 1 and 143 months (mean: 38.9 months; SD: 32.3). Baseline BMI at referral differed significantly between groups 1 and 2 (49.7 kgm−2 [SD: 8.7] vs 46.9 kgm−2 [SD: 6.1], respectively; P < .05). Following implemented lifestyle interventions, between groups 1 and 2 there were no differences in %WL (6.9% [SD: 16.7] vs 7.3% [SD: 11.60], respectively; P = NS) or %rBMI (8.1% [SD: 14.9] vs 7.8% [SD: 11.7], respectively; p = NS). Overall, there was no significant correlation between patient age at referral and %WL (r = −.13, p = NS).
Older age does not influence the success of weight loss through the implementation of lifestyle modification within a hospital‐based obesity service. Therefore, age per se should not influence clinical decisions regarding acceptance of patients to hospital‐based obesity services.