Four factors in midlife may predict later health declines in women

By HealthDay News

Examining a woman’s health in midlife can predict her health decades later, researchers say.

Four specific factors — higher body mass index (BMI), smoking, arthritis and depressive symptoms — at age 55 are associated with clinically important declines in physical health 10 years later, a new study reports.

“Age 55 to 65 may be a critical decade,” said study co-author Dr. Daniel Solomon, of the division of rheumatology, inflammation, and immunity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

“A person’s health and factors during this period may set them on a path for their later adult years. The good news is that a large proportion of women at midlife are very stable and will not go on to experience declines. But being able to identify women at higher risk could help lead to interventions targeted to them,” Solomon said.

For the study, the research team used data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, that followed U.S. women from 1996 through 2016. The investigators studied their health status measures, lab measurements and imaging assessments.

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