Generalized equations for predicting body density of women

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1980;12(3):175-81.


Previous research with women has shown that body composition regression equations derived from anthropometric variables were population specific. This study sought to derive generalized equations for women differing in age and body composition. The hydrostatic method was used to determine body density (BD) and percent fat (%F) on 249 women in 18 to 55 years (X = 31.4 +/- 10.8 yrs) and 4 to 44 %F (X = 24.1 +/-7.2 %F). Skinfold fat (S), gluteal circumference (C) and age were independent variables. The quadratic form of the sum of three, four and seven S in combination with age and gluteal C produced multiple correlations that ranged from 0.842 to 0.867 with standard errors of 3.6 to 3.8 %F. The equations were cross-validated on a different sample of 82 women with similar age and %F characteristics. The correlations between predicted and hydrostatically determined %F ranged from 0.815 to 0.820 with standard errors of 3.7 to 4.0 %F. This study showed that valid generalized body composition equations could be derived for women varying in age and body composition, but care need to be exercised with women over an age of forty.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Body Composition*
  • Buttocks
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Somatotypes