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Revista de Nutrição

Print version ISSN 1415-5273


RECH, Cassiano Ricardo; CORDEIRO, Braian Alves; PETROSKI, Edio Luiz  and  VASCONCELOS, Francisco de Assis Guedes de. Estimating body fat from skinfold thicknesses in the elderly. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.1, pp.17-26. ISSN 1415-5273.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to analyze skinfold thickness equations for the estimation of body fat in terms of their concordance with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry results in elderly Brazilians. METHODS: This was a correlation study. Anthropometric measurements (height, body mass, body circumferences and skin fold thicknesses) of 180 elderly subjects (60 men and 120 women) aged 60 to 81 years were taken. Their body fat was measured with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and compared with the values estimated from skinfold thickness measurements. Equations published by Durnin et al., Jackson et al., Visser et al. and Lean et al. were analyzed. The validation criteria described by Lohman were used together with the Bland and Altman method for graphical analysis of differences with relation to means. RESULTS: The men in the study group had a mean body fat of 23.1% (SD=5.8%) while the women had a mean body fat of 37.3% (SD=6.9%), with a 6% to 51.4% variation. The general equations published by Durnin et al. had great concordance with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (64.4% for men and 60.1% for women). Skinfold thickness equations tended to overestimate men's body fat and underestimate women's body fat. CONCLUSION: The general equations proposed by Durnin et al. are a valid tool for estimating body fat in the elderly population of Southern Brazil.

Keywords : Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; Skinfolds thickness; Body fat; Aged; Obesity.

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