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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inconsistent associations among anthropometric measurements in elderly Dutch men and women.

In a national survey of 515 apparently healthy Dutch elderly people aged 65 through 79 years, interrelationships among weight, height, weight-for-height indexes (especially the Quetelet index), body fatness (assessed by skinfold measurements), and 24-hour urinary creatinine excretion were investigated in various age groups. Body weight, body height, and 24-hour urinary creatinine excretion (absolute and per kilogram body weight) were lower in older age groups. In men the correlation coefficient between weight and body fatness was .54 for the group aged 65 through 69 years and .33 for the group aged 75 through 79 years. In women the correlation between weight and percentage of body fat varied from .52 to .70 among the age groups. In comparison with results reported for younger adults, a lower correlation between the Quetelet index and body fatness was observed (r = .49 in men, r = .64 in women). The correlation of the Quetelet index with both height and urinary creatinine excretion tended to be higher in the older age groups. We concluded that some of the associations found were inconsistent and that there may be some doubt about the adequacy of the Quetelet index as a measure of body fatness among the elderly. However, no convenient alternative weight-for-height index is presently available. Perhaps circumferences are a better option to choose for elderly people.[1]


  1. Inconsistent associations among anthropometric measurements in elderly Dutch men and women. Minten, V.K., Löwik, M.R., Deurenberg, P., Kok, F.J. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. (1991) [Pubmed]
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