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Body Measurements Of Black And White Elderly Persons With Emphasis On Body Composition.

J. Prothro, C. Rosenbloom
Published 1995 · Medicine

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The measurements obtained on 103 male and female subjects, 60-103 years of age, who were participants in a community nutrition program, included weight, height, knee height, body mass index, triceps skinfold, midarm circumference, midarm muscle area, total body fat, total body water, and lean body mass. Over the 43-year range of this cross-sectional study, 78% of body weight loss in men and 51% in women was attributable to lean tissue, while fat tissue accounted for 22% of weight loss in men and 53% in women. Analysis of variance of the measured values over the age interval showed trends that were not statistically significant among males, but females showed significant decreases in weight, body mass index, triceps skinfold, midarm muscle area, total body fat (% and lb), total body water (l), and lean body mass; also, a significant increase in total body water (%) was observed in females. Ethnic differences among the parameters included higher triceps skinfold in white than in black males and larger knee height and midarm circumference in white than in black females. Comparison of parameters by gender within each ethnic group showed larger body weight and midarm muscle area in white males than in white females; triceps skinfold was larger in black females than in black males. t tests indicated that subjects who received home-delivered meals had significantly smaller mean body weight, body mass index, triceps skinfold, midarm circumference and total body fat (% and lb) than those who came to a senior center for the noon meal. Elderly who lived alone had a higher total body fat (%) than those who lived with other(s). In females, significant correlation coefficients (r) were shown by weight, total body water (l), and lean body mass with all parameters. The weakest r values in females were those for height and for triceps skinfold with other parameters. In males, there was no single parameter that correlated with all others; triceps skinfold correlated with none. The strongest correlations in the male were for weight with total body water and with lean body mass, and for midarm circumference with midarm muscle area.

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