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Prediction equations for the estimation of body composition in the elderly using anthropometric data

  • Marjolein Visser (a1), Ellen Van Den Heuvel (a1) and Paul Deurenberg (a1)

Abstract

To study the relationship between health and nutritional status in elderly populations, information about body composition is essential. To collect this information in large epidemiological studies, practical methods based on anthropometric data must be available. In the present study the relationship between body composition, determined by densitometry, and anthropometric data in 204 elderly men and women, aged 60–87 years, was analysed. Existing prediction equations described in the literature, and mainly based on young and middle-aged subjects, generally underestimated percentage body fat in the elderly study population. Therefore, new prediction equations were developed, based on sex and the sum of two (biceps and triceps) or four (biceps, triceps, suprailiaca and subscapula) skinfolds or the body mass index (BMI). Addition of age or body circumferences to the models did not improve the prediction of body density. Internal cross validation and external validation revealed that the formulas are valid for the estimation of body density in elderly subjects. The standard errors of estimate of the three models, expressed as percentage body fat, were 5.6, 5.4 and 4.8% respectively.

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References

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