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Rev Esp Salud Publica. 2017 Oct 30;91. pii: e201710041.

[Relation between educational level and body composition in non-institutionalized elderly: The elderly EXERNET multi-center study.]

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Grupo de investigación Valor-A. Universidad de San Jorge, Zaragoza, Spain.
Grupo de Investigación GENUD Toledo, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain.
Centro Universitario de la Defensa, Zaragoza, Spain.
GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development) Research Group, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain.
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERObn), Spain.
Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragón (IA2).
CIBER de Fragilidad y Envejecimiento Saludable (CIBERFES), Spain.
ImFINE Research Group. Departamento de Salud y Rendimiento Humano. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Spain.
Universidad de Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.
Instituto de Biomedicina (IBIOMED).Universidad de León, León, Spain.
Unidad de Medicina del Deporte. Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Spain.
Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences (FCSD), Department of Physiatry and Nursing, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain.


in English, Spanish


There is an inverse association between educational level and body composition; however this association has strongly focused in young and adults population. The aim of this study was to analyze the educational levels attained in overweight and obesity Spanish elderly and to investigate if there was a correlation between having a low educational level and the risk of having overweight, central obesity or excess fat mass during the aging process.


A representative sample of 2706 elderly (629 men and 2077 women; mean age of 72.1 ± 5.3 years) from Spain were assessed in the elderly EXERNET multi-center study between 2008 and 2009. Body composition was assessed in all subjects by bioelectrical impedance. ANCOVA was used to compare the averages between the groups. Logistic regression was used to calculate the association between educational level and the risk of having overweight, central fat or obesity.


We observed significances between waist circumference and educational level in both sex (men 96.6 cm, women 86.3 cm); (p less than 0.05 and p less than 0.01, respective). There is an inverse association between the academic level, fat mass (29.5 kg) and percentage of body fat (40.8%) in women (p less than 0.05, p less than 0.01, respectively). No differences were observed in men.


low educational level increases the possibility of having overweight or obesity in women and to have an increased waist circumference in both sexes.


Adiposity; Aging; Educational Level; Obesity; Old People; Spain

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