Correlation between anthropometric indices and body fat distribution in elderly woman

Marcius de Almeida Gomes, Cassiano Ricardo Rech, Manuela Barreto de Araújo Gomes, Daniela Lopes dos Santos


This correlational descriptive study had the purpose of analyzing the relationship among anthropometric indexes (AIs) and body fat (total- %BFtotal and in the trunk- %BFtrunk) in elderly women, and also identifying the prevalence of health risk associated with %BFtotal when using different AIs. Sixty apparently healthy women, aged 60 to 80 years, participated in the study. Measurements of body mass, stature and circumferences at waist (WC), abdomen and hip sites were performed and allowed the computation of the following AIs: body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and conicity index (CI). Dual-energy x-ray absortiometry (DEXA) was used to estimate %BFtotal and %BFtrunk. Pearson’s linear correlation and linear regression analysis were applied to determine the
relationship between AIs and %BFtotal and %BFtrunk, with the level of significance at 0.05. The results showed that BMI had a significant correlation with %BFtotal (r=0.73; p<0.05) and with % BFtrunk (r=0.71; p<0.05). WC presented correlation coefficients with %BFtotal of 0.61 (p<0.01), and of 0.64 with %BFtrunk (p<0.01). In health risk analyses, the criterion by DEXA of %BFtotal greater than 30% was adopted. Hence, 83.3% of women were at risk. Using BMI, CI, WC and WHR, the health risk prevalence was 78.8%, 90%, 88% and 38%, respectively. The combination of BMI and WC showed that 90% of the elderly were classified at risk. Therefore, it was concluded that BMI and WC can be used to estimate excess of body fat in older women as they correlated with %BFtotal and %BFtrunk. For health risk characterized as %BFtotal above the cutoff point of 30%, BMI and WC combined and CI were the best AIs for identifying those women at risk.


Idosos; Antropometria; Índices antropométricos; Absortometria radiológica de dupla energia; Elderly; Anthropometry; Anthropometric indexes; DEXA


The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.