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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;61(6):727-35. Epub 2006 Dec 20.

Prediction of visceral fat area in Japanese adults: proposal of prediction method applicable in a field setting.

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  • 1Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.



This study aimed to develop a prediction equation for the visceral fat area at the umbilical level (VFA(L4-5)) in Japanese adults, using internal fat mass (IFM) estimated from a few anthropometric variables.


Subjects were 112 adults aged from 25 to 82 years (body mass index (BMI)=24.2+/-3.1 kg/m(2), ranged from 15.7 to 31.2 kg/m(2)). Another 60 adults aged from 21 to 71 years were recruited for the crossvalidation group (BMI=24.5+/-4.0 kg/m(2), ranged from 17.1 to 34.6 kg/m(2)). We examined (1) the prediction of IFM based on a small number of skinfold thicknesses; (2) the prediction of VFA(L4-5) using IFM and (3) the application of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) measurement. VFA(L4-5) was measured by computed tomography (reference value). Total fat mass was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and single-frequency BIA with 8-point tactile electrodes.


Three skinfolds at the abdomen, side chest and suprailiac were selected to estimate IFM. From IFM estimated using these three skinfolds, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), sex and age, about 75% of the variance of VFA(L4-5) could be explained (Eq(VFA)1: R=863, R(2)=0.745, standard error of estimate (s.e.e.)=20.483 cm(2)). When substituting IFM based on BIA measurement (IFM(BIA)) into Eq(VFA)1, there were no significant mean differences from the reference in both equations, and high correlations were found (r=0.860, s.e.e.=20.902 cm(2)), although a significant mean difference in total fat mass was found between DXA and BIA measurements. The prediction equation using IFM(BIA) (Eq(VFA)2) could have prediction accuracy comparable with that of Eq(VFA)1 (Eq(VFA)2: R=879, R(2)=0.773, s.e.e.=20.324 cm(2)). Furthermore, when applying these equations to the crossvalidation group, there were cross-validity in both equations.


This study proposed a prediction equation for VFA(L4-5) from WHR and IFM based on three skinfolds, and the validity of BIA measurement in Japanese adults. We can propose the procedure for a field setting.

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