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Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Apr;73(4):827-31.

Relation between body composition, fat distribution, and lung function in elderly men.

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1
Cattedra di Geriatria and the Istituto di Medicina Interna, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Body composition changes with age, with increases in fat mass and visceral fat and declines in skeletal muscle mass; lung function also declines with age. Age-related changes in body composition and fat distribution may be associated with the pulmonary impairment observed in the elderly.

OBJECTIVE:

Our goal was to evaluate the relations between body composition, fat distribution, and lung function in elderly men.

DESIGN:

We studied 97 men aged 67-78 y with body mass indexes (BMIs; in kg/m2) ranging from 19.8 to 37.1. Body composition was evaluated by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and fat distribution was evaluated by using waist and hip circumferences, waist-to-hip ratio, and sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD). Spirometry was done in all subjects and the distance walked by each subject during a 6-min walking test was evaluated as was leg strength.

RESULTS:

A significant negative correlation was found between adiposity, fat distribution indexes, forced vital capacity (FVC), and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). A positive correlation was found between fat-free mass and FVC. After adjustment for age, height, and weight, SAD still correlated negatively with FVC and FEV1 (r = -0.367 and -0.348, respectively; P < 0.01), whereas percentage body fat and fat mass correlated negatively and fat-free mass correlated positively with FVC (r = -0.313, -0.323, and 0.299, respectively; all P < 0.01). After the sample was subdivided by tertile of fat-free mass adjusted for age and BMI, FVC and FEV1 were significantly lower in the lowest fat-free mass tertile (P < 0.01). Stepwise multiple regression analysis performed with use of lung function variables as the dependent variables and age, height, fat mass, fat-free mass, waist circumference, and SAD as the independent variables showed that 3 variables entered the regression for predicting FVC: height, which entered the regression first; SAD, which entered second; and fat-free mass, which entered third. Only 2 variables entered the regression for predicting FEV1: height, which entered the regression first, and SAD, which entered second.

CONCLUSION:

Our cross-sectional data show a significant association between body composition, fat distribution, and lung function in elderly men.

PMID:
11273860
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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