BACKGROUND: Many observational studies have reported an association between weight fluctuation and all-cause mortality. However, the conclusions obtained from these studies have been unclear. OBJECTIVE: The current meta-analysis aimed to clarify the association between weight fluctuation and all-cause mortality. DATA SOURCE: We electronically searched PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science for articles reporting an association between weight fluctuation and all-cause mortality that were published before April 30, 2018. STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS METHODS: The methodological quality of each study was appraised using the modified Newcastle Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. The hazard ratios (HRs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were extracted from the included studies and pooled using random-effect models. Meta-regression approaches were also performed to explore sources of between-study heterogeneity. RESULTS: A total of 15 studies were eligible for the current meta-analysis. The pooled overall HR for all-cause mortality in the group with the greatest weight fluctuations compared with the most stable weight category was 1.45 (95% CI: 1.29-1.63). Considerable between-study heterogeneity was observed, some of which was partially explained by the different follow-up durations used by the included studies. Moreover, publication bias that inflated the risk of all-cause mortality was detected using Egger's test (P = .001). CONCLUSION: Weight fluctuation might be associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.
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