BMI and an anthropometry-based estimate of fat mass percentage are both valid discriminators of cardiometabolic risk: a comparison with DXA and bioimpedance

J Obes. 2013:2013:862514. doi: 10.1155/2013/862514. Epub 2013 Dec 24.


Objective: To determine whether categories of obesity based on BMI and an anthropometry-based estimate of fat mass percentage (FM% equation) have similar discriminative ability for markers of cardiometabolic risk as measurements of FM% by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or bioimpedance analysis (BIA).

Design and methods: A study of 40-79-year-old male (n = 205) and female (n = 388) Finns. Weight, height, blood pressure, triacylglycerols, HDL cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose were measured. Body composition was assessed by DXA and BIA and a FM%-equation.

Results: For grade 1 hypertension, dyslipidaemia, and impaired fasting glucose >6.1 mmol/L, the categories of obesity as defined by BMI and the FM% equation had 1.9% to 3.7% (P < 0.01) higher discriminative power compared to DXA. For grade 2 hypertension the FM% equation discriminated 1.2% (P = 0.05) lower than DXA and 2.8% (P < 0.01) lower than BIA. Receiver operation characteristics confirmed BIA as best predictor of grade 2 hypertension and the FM% equation as best predictor of grade 1 hypertension. All other differences in area under curve were small (≤0.04) and 95% confidence intervals included 0.

Conclusions: Both BMI and FM% equations may predict cardiometabolic risk with similar discriminative ability as FM% measured by DXA or BIA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon*
  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results