Predicting fat-free mass in children using bioimpedance analysis

Acta Diabetol. 2003 Oct;40 Suppl 1:S212-5. doi: 10.1007/s00592-003-0069-z.


Body composition assessment is a useful procedure for the study of nutritional status and water distribution. In adults, it is a predictor of morbidity and mortality, since body fatness is associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) is a simple, safe, and inexpensive method for assessment of body composition both in pediatric and adult subjects. The aim of our study was to validate the impedance index, ZI (H(2)/Z, height in cm(2)/impedance), as a predictor factor of fatfree mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) in a sample ( n=75) of normal children. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was chosen as reference method. Despite some minor bias, DXAis considerably less expensive and easier to administer in pediatric subjects than other established gold standard reference methods for assessing body composition. ZI values were highly correlated with FFM measured with DXA. The following equations were obtained from the regression analysis: (a). male subjects, FFM(DXA)=0.6375 (ZI)+5.9913, r(2)=0.897, p<0.0001; (b). female subjects, FFM(DXA)=0.7597 (ZI)+ 3.5853, r(2)=0.903, p<0.0001. These data support the notion that BIA alone can be used as a surrogate to measure FFM in a pediatric sample.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Electric Impedance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values