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Bioelectrical impedance analysis: population reference values for phase angle by age and sex

Barbosa-Silva, M.C.G., Barros, A.J.D., Wang, J., Heymsfield, S.B., Pierson, R.N. Jr.
American journal of clinical nutrition 2005 v.82 no.1 pp. 49-52
nutrition assessment, bioelectrical impedance, age, gender, body composition, body mass index, body fat distribution, diagnostic techniques, reference standards
Background: Phase angle is an indicator based on reactance and resistance obtained from bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Although its biological meaning is still not clear, phase angle appears to have an important prognostic role. Objective: The aim of this study was to estimate population averages and SDs of phase angle that can be used as reference values. Design: BIA and other methods used to evaluate body composition, including hydrodensitometry and total body water, were completed in 1967 healthy adults aged 18-94 y. Phase angle was calculated directly from body resistance and reactance, and fat mass (FM) was estimated from the combination of weight, hydrodensitometry, and total body water by using the 3-compartment Siri equation. Phase angle values were compared across categories of sex, age, body mass index (BMI), and percentage FM. Results: Phase angle was significantly (P < 0.001) smaller in women than in men and was lower with greater age (P < 0.001). Phase angle increased with an increase in BMI and was significantly inversely associated with percentage fat in men. Phase angle was significantly predicted from sex, age, BMI, and percentage FM in multiple regression models. Conclusions: Phase angle differs across categories of sex, age, BMI, and percentage fat. These reference values can serve as a basis for phase angle evaluations in the clinical setting.