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Body composition in heavy smokers: Comparison of segmental bioelectrical impedance analysis and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry

Rom O., Reznick A.Z., Keidar Z., Karkabi K., Aizenbud D.

Smokers tend to have lower body mass index, on one hand, and increased abdominal obesity, on the other hand. Also, low levels of lean mass (LM) and bone mineral content (BMC) were found among older smokers compared with non-smokers. This altered body composition and its consequences raise the need for simple and reliable methods for assessment of body composition in smokers. This study aimed to compare body composition assessment by segmental bioelectrical impedance analysis (sBIA) with the reference method, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Body composition was measured by sBIA (Tanita BC-545) and DEXA (Hologic) in 49 heavy smokers (>15 cigarettes/day, mean age 43.8 ± 12.0). The comparison included correlations and differences between measurements obtained using the two methods as well as the Blande-Altman analysis. Whole-body fat mass (FM) and LM measured by the two methods were found to be highly correlated (r > 0.9, p < 0.001). Compared with DEXA, sBIA significantly overestimated whole-body LM and BMC (1,126 g and 382 g, respectively, p < 0.01). The Bland-Altman analysis revealed a good agreement for whole-body FM and LM, but a poor agreement for BMC. The segmental FM percentage and LM were also highly correlated (r > 0.9, p < 0.001). However, sBIA significantly overestimated LM of the trunk and legs and underestimated the appendicular FM percentage. Verified by DEXA, sBIA provides reliable measures of whole-body LM, FM, and trunk FM in heavy smokers. A lesser degree of agreement was found for BMC, appendicular LM, and FM.