The predictive ability of ABSI compared to BMI for mortality and frailty among older adults

Itamar Shafran, Nir Y. Krakauer, Jesse C. Krakauer, Abigail Goshen, Yariv Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: To study the utility of A Body Shape Index (ABSI) alongside body mass index (BMI) to predict mortality and frailty in an aging community population. Materials and methods: Participants (n = 1,580) were drawn from the first Israeli national health and nutrition survey of older adults (“Mabat Zahav”) conducted from 2005 to 2006, constituting adults aged ≥65 years. Socio-demographic, clinical, behavioral, and psychosocial data were collected. Baseline weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) were measured and expressed as the allometric indices BMI (kg/m2) and ABSI, a BMI-independent measure of abdominal obesity [WC/(BMI2/3*m1/2)]. Mortality follow-up lasted through 2019. Frailty was assessed in 2017–2019 by the Fried Biological Phenotype in a sub-cohort of 554 survivors. Cox and logistic regression models assessed associations of BMI and ABSI with mortality and frailty. Results: At baseline, mean [SD] age was 74.5 [6.1] years, and 52.4% were women. The correlation between BMI and WC Z scores was 0.71, reduced to −0.11 for BMI and ABSI. Over a median follow-up of 13 years, 757 deaths occurred. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% CIs) for mortality per standard deviation increase in BMI and ABSI were 1.07 (0.99;1.17) and 1.13 (1.05;1.21), respectively. Among participants assessed for frailty, 77 (14%) met the frailty criteria. After multivariable adjustment, the odds ratios (95% CIs) for frailty were 0.83 (0.69–1.01) for BMI and 1.55 (1.34–1.79) for ABSI. Discussion: In a nationwide cohort of older adults, ABSI was independently associated with mortality risk. Furthermore, ABSI, but not BMI, was a strong predictor of frailty.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1305330
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - 2024


  • ABSI
  • BMI
  • frailty
  • healthy aging
  • mortality

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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