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Development and validation of a simple model based on anthropometry: estimating fat mass for white postmenopausal women

Manios, Yannis PhD; Kanellakis, Spyridon MSc; Androutsos, Odysseas MSc (Med Sci); Maragkopoulou, Konstantina BSc; Giannopoulou, Aggeliki BSc; Argyri, Efstathoula BSc; Moschonis, George MSc

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31823110db
Brief Report

Objective: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a simple anthropometric model that estimates the fat mass of white postmenopausal women and compare it to other models available in the literature.

Methods: Anthropometric data such as height, weight, waist and gluteal circumferences, biceps, triceps, suprailiac, and subscapular skinfolds, which were incorporated for the development and validation of this model, were derived from 276 white postmenopausal women. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry was used as the reference method. Furthermore, a comparison with other models was made using Bland-Altman analysis and intraclass correlation coefficient.

Results: The model developed in the current study was: fat mass = 0.069 × biceps + 0.553 × weight − 14.655 × height + 0.218 × gluteal circumference − 9.830 (r2 = 0.934, P < 0.001). The Bland-Altman reliability analysis on the validation cohort showed a non-statistically significant bias of 0.158 kg and limits of agreement of ±4.21 kg; the intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.983. Furthermore, the validity of the current model also remained significant in different levels of BMI, ranging from 20.5-42 kg/m2. When other models available in the literature were tested in the current cohort, bias ranged from −1.239 to −6.996 kg, while the limits of agreement from ±5.25 to ±8.05 kg.

Conclusions: The model developed in the current work was found to be valid for the assessment of postmenopausal women’s fat mass at normal, overweight and obese BMI ranges, and can be easily applied in clinical practice and research.

In Brief

In this study a simple model based on anthropometry for estimating fat mass in white women has been developed. It has been validated and compared to models retrieved from the literature.

Author Information

From the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Received February 5, 2011; revised and accepted July 28, 2011.

All authors who have made an important contribution to this study are included and are thoroughly familiar with the primary data. The authors declare that their responsibilities were as follows: Y.M., G.M., and S.K. designed the study; S.K., O.A., K.M., A.G., and E.A. collected the data; and Y.M. and S.K. conducted the literature review, performed the statistical analyses, and wrote the manuscript.

Funding/support: This research has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund-ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) - Research Funding Program: Heracleitus II. Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Yannis Manios, PhD, Harokopio University Kallithea, El Venizelou 70, Athens 17671, Greece. E-mail:

©2012The North American Menopause Society