Assessment of total body water from anthropometry-based equations using bioelectrical impedance as reference in Korean adult control and haemodialysis subjects

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2001 Jan;16(1):91-7. doi: 10.1093/ndt/16.1.91.


Background: Several indirect prediction equations to estimate total body water (TBW) with simple demographic and anthropometric data are commonly used by researchers and dialysis units. These equations are largely based on observations in subjects of the Western hemisphere. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible application of anthropometry-based TBW equations to a Korean adult control population and maintenance haemodialysis (HD) patients using multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) as reference.

Methods: We performed BIA and anthropometric measurements in 67 healthy adults and 101 HD patients. Four anthropometry-based equations were used: 58% of actual body weight (TBW-58), the Watson formula (TBW-W), the Hume formula (TBW-H), and the Chertow formula (TBW-C). Multifrequency BIA was performed at fasting state in controls and after HD.

Results: TBW-BIA was 34.6+/-6.9 l in control and 29.9+/-5.1 l in HD patients. TBW-58 and TBW-C gave significantly greater TBWs than TBW-BIA in both control and HD subjects. The correlation coefficients of TBW-BIA with calculated TBWs were lowest in TBW-58 (0.754 in control and 0.856 in HD subjects), and highest in TBW-C (0.944 in control and 0.916 in HD subjects). Mean prediction error was greatest in the Chertow formula for control and HD patients. Mean prediction error, limits of agreement, and root mean square error were lowest between TBW-BIA and TBW-H in control and between TBW-BIA and TBW-W in HD subjects. The correlation coefficient in the Bland-Altman plot was closer to zero and parallel with TBW-W than TBW-H in control and HD subjects.

Conclusion: Currently available TBW equations overestimate TBW in both Korean normal control subjects and HD patients. Among them, the Watson formula appears to be the closest to TBW and to have the least bias. Based on this analysis, it is reasonable to use the Watson formula for the calculation of TBW in Korean adult control and HD subjects until an Asian-based TBW equation is available.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Biometry
  • Body Water / metabolism*
  • Body Weight
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*