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Congest Heart Fail. 2011 Mar-Apr;17(2):90-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7133.2010.00204.x. Epub 2011 Jan 27.

Do anthropometric indices accurately reflect directly measured body composition in men and women with chronic heart failure?

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School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 8440 112th Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


How well anthropometric indices such as body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-stature ratio, and waist index correlate with direct measures of body composition (lean body mass, body fat) in men and women with chronic heart failure (CHF) has not been reported. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in 140 patients with CHF. Age-adjusted Pearson correlations between each index and measures of body composition for men and women were calculated. Diagnostic accuracy of detecting obesity or high central fat was also examined. In men, all of the anthropometric indices except waist index were just as strongly correlated with lean body mass (correlation coefficients varied between 0.56 for waist-stature ratio to 0.74 for BMI) as with percentage of body fat (correlation coefficients varied between 0.72 for BMI to 0.79 for waist circumference). In women, all 4 anthropometric measures were unable to significantly differentiate between body fat and lean body mass. The positive likelihood ratios for the detection of obesity varied between 2.26 for waist circumference and 3.42 for BMI, waist-stature ratio, and waist index. Anthropometric indices do not accurately reflect body composition in patients with CHF, especially in women. When accurate assessment of body composition is required, direct measurements should be obtained.

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