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Fat mass to fat-free mass ratio reference values from NHANES III using bioelectrical impedance analysis

Xiao, J., Purcell, S.A., Prado, C.M., Gonzalez, M.C.
Clinical nutrition 2018 v.37 no.6 pp. 2284-2287
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, bioelectrical impedance, body mass index, elderly, equations, females, lean body mass, males, morbidity, normal values, obesity, phenotype, prediction, risk groups, underweight
Low fat-free mass (FFM) or high fat mass (FM) are abnormal body composition phenotypes associated with morbidity. These conditions in combination lead to worse health outcomes, and can be identified by a high FM/FFM ratio. Here, we developed sex, age, and body mass index (BMI) stratified, population-based FM/FFM reference values using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) measurements.White, non-Hispanic individuals aged 18–90 years old with data for weight, stature and BIA resistance measures from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III were included. Previously validated and sex-specific BIA prediction equations were used to calculate FM and FFM. FM/FFM values were generated at 5th, 50th and 95th percentiles for each sex, age (18–39.9, 40–59.9, 60–69.9 and 70–90 years), and BMI category (underweight, normal weight, overweight, class I/II and class III obesity).A total of 6372 individuals who had estimated FM and FFM values were identified (3366 females, 3006 males). Median values of FM/FFM were 0.24 and 0.40 for young (≤39.9 years) males and females with normal BMI, and 0.34 for males and 0.59 for females who were overweight. For elderly individuals aged >70 years, median FM/FFM for males and females were respectively 0.28 and 0.45 for those with normal BMI, and 0.37 and 0.61 for those in the overweight category.These FM/FFM reference values provide information on body composition characteristics that account for age, sex and BMI, which can be useful to identify individuals at risk for body composition abnormalities.