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Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):506-11. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

Limb fat-free mass and fat mass reference values by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) in a 20-80 year-old Italian population.

Author information

1
Clinica Geriatrica, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche, Università di Padova, Italy. alessandra.coin@unipd.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

To establish reference values for limb composition, fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) in Italian adults for gender-specific age brackets 20-80 years old and to assess age-related regional changes in body composition.

METHODS:

A multicenter, retrospective study was conducted on 1571 healthy subjects, 1240 women and 331 men. Regional FFM and FM were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. FM was expressed as % of limb weight.

RESULTS:

FFM in men diminished with age in both arms and legs, with reference ranges (25th -75th percentile) of 3.8-4.6 kg and 10.4-12.2 kg, respectively for 20-29 year-olds, and 3.1-3.9 kg and 8.2-10.4 kg for 70-79 year-olds. Women's arm FFM remained stable with aging (reference values 1.7-2.2 kg), decreasing in their legs (6.2-7.2 kg for 20-29 year-olds, 5.5-6.5 kg for 70-79 year-olds). Limb FM% increased with age in both genders: the reference values were 9-15% (arms) and 12-21% (legs) for 20-29 year-old men, and 19-26% and 19-29%, respectively, for 70-79 year-olds; for women's arms, they were 25-36% for 20-29 year-olds and 36-48% for 70-79 year-olds, while their leg FM remained the same with aging, i.e. 32-40%.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data complete the published reference values for whole body composition, enabling physiological or pathological changes in limb composition to be identified in Caucasian populations living in the Mediterranean area.

PMID:
22342050
DOI:
10.1016/j.clnu.2012.01.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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