European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 73–83 | Cite as

Body mass index trajectories and functional decline in older adults: Three-City Dijon cohort study

  • Fanny Artaud
  • Archana Singh-Manoux
  • Aline Dugravot
  • Béatrice Tavernier
  • Christophe Tzourio
  • Alexis Elbaz


Obesity, whose prevalence is increasing, is associated with poor functional status at older ages. However, much of this evidence is cross-sectional with little known about longitudinal associations. We examined associations of body mass index (BMI), and change in BMI, with change in objective [walking speed (WS)] and self-reported (disability) measures of motor decline. Analyses included participants (65–85 years) from the Dijon center of the Three-City study (France) with up to five WS (N = 4007) and six disability assessments (N = 4478) over 11 years. Data were analyzed using regression models for repeated measures. Mean baseline WS was 153 cm/s. Compared to normal weight persons, obese participants at baseline walked slower and reported more disability; they also experienced 45 % faster WS decline (−18.63 vs. −12.85 cm/s/10 years, P = 0.002). Participants who lost or gained weight had 47 % (−18.85 cm/s/10 years, P < 0.001) and 33 % (−17.08 cm/s/10 years, P = 0.002) respectively greater WS decline than participants in the normal BMI change category. 24 % of participants reported disability at least once during the follow-up, those who lost or gained weight had a 1.63 and 1.34 respectively higher odds of disability than participants in the normal BMI change category (P = 0.001). Associations remained after adjustment for covariates. In conclusion, obesity is associated with worse motor performances, a higher risk of disability, and faster motor decline. Our results underline the interest of repeated BMI and motor assessments to identify those at higher risk of disability.


Aged Body mass index Cohort study Disability Epidemiology Motor decline 



The 3C study was supported by a partnership agreement between the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), the Victor Segalen-Bordeaux II University, and the Sanofi-Synthélabo Company. The Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale funded the preparation and initiation of the study. The 3C study is also supported by the Caisse Nationale Maladie des Travailleurs Salariés, Direction Générale de la Santé, Conseils Régionaux of Bourgogne, Fondation de France, Ministry of Research-INSERM Program, “Cohortes et collections de données biologiques”, Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale, Institut de la Longévité, Conseil Général de la Côte d’or, Fondation Plan Alzheimer. Fanny Artaud is the recipient of a doctoral grant from the EHESP (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique), Rennes, France. ASM receives research support from the US National Institutes of Health (R01AG013196, R01AG0344540).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10654_2015_27_MOESM1_ESM.docx (53 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 53 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fanny Artaud
    • 1
    • 2
  • Archana Singh-Manoux
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Aline Dugravot
    • 1
    • 2
  • Béatrice Tavernier
    • 4
  • Christophe Tzourio
    • 5
    • 6
  • Alexis Elbaz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.U1018, CESP Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Epidemiology of Aging and Age Related DiseasesINSERMVillejuifFrance
  2. 2.UMRS 1018Univ de Versailles St-QuentinVersaillesFrance
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of GeriatricsCHU DijonDijonFrance
  5. 5.U897, Neuroepidemiology TeamINSERMBordeauxFrance
  6. 6.University of BordeauxBordeauxFrance

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