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The relationship between anthropometry and body composition assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in women 75-80 years old : are new skinfold equations needed? Hill, Andrea Dalton


A link between age-related changes in body composition (BC) and the increased prevalence of disease and disability in old age has been well established (Chumlea & Baumgartner, 1989; Going et al., 1995; Shephard, 1997). Consequently, B C assessment is becoming increasingly important in the evaluation o f the health and functional status of the older adult. Individuals 75 years and older comprise one of the fastest growing segments of the population in North America (Canada, 1999; Donatelle & Davis, 1994), yet current B C measurement techniques may not be accurate or reliable in this older age group. The intent of this research was to develop new body fat prediction equations in elderly women based on anthropometry and the criterion method of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), which is considered to be more valid than conventional densitometry among the aging population (Baumgartner et al., 1995; Kohrt, 1998; Visser et al., 1998). Anthropometry, skinfold (SF) anthropometry, and DEXA (Hologic QDR-4500W) body fat data were initially collected in a sample of 43 women 75-80 years old (m = 77.4yrs) as part of a larger study investigating the effects of strength training on strength, function, bone mineral density (BMD), and BC. Eight BC prediction equations for the elderly were selected from the literature and applied to these data. The correlation, between prediction equations and DEXA ranged from 0.76-0.97. However, paired t-tests difference scores (δ) showed that all but one o f the equations overestimated DEXA body fat i n these older aged women (δ ranged from -3.3kg to 4.0kg and 4.4% to 9.0%; p

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