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How well does the body adiposity index capture adiposity change in midlife women?: The SWAN fat patterning study

Authors

  • Bradley M. Appelhans,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    2. Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    • Department of Preventive Medicine, 1700 W. Van Buren St., Suite 470, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
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  • Rasa Kazlauskaite,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Kelly Karavolos,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Imke Janssen,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Howard M. Kravitz,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    2. Department of Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Sheila Dugan,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    2. Department of Neurosurgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    3. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • John W. Burns,

    1. Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Karla Shipp-johnson,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Lynda H. Powell

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    2. Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    3. Department of Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
    4. Department of Pharmacology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
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  • The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) has grant support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), DHHS, through the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) (Grants NR004061; AG012505, AG012535, AG012531, AG012539, AG012546, AG012553, AG012554, AG012495). The SWAN Fat Patterning Study is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) (Grant HL067128) and the Charles J. and Margaret Roberts Trust. The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIA, NINR, ORWH or the NIH.

Abstract

Objectives:

The body adiposity index (BAI) is a proposed alternative to the body mass index (BMI) that has shown good cross-sectional agreement with percent body fat (%BF) in validation studies. The objective of this study was to examine the ability of BAI to track adiposity change over time in a biracial sample of midlife women.

Methods:

African-American (n = 159) and Caucasian (n = 206) women, aged 42–60 years, at the Chicago site of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation were followed from 2002 to 2008. BAI and BMI were calculated from measurements taken at annual assessments. %BF was quantified using whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Difference scores (BAIΔ, BMIΔ, and %BFΔ) quantified adiposity change over a mean of 1.6 (SD = 0.7) years. Lin's concordance correlation (ρc) and Bland–Altman limits-of-agreement assessed agreement between BAI and %BF.

Results:

In examining adiposity change, BAIΔ showed poor agreement with %BFΔ in the overall sample (ρc = 0.41), African-American women (ρc = 0.36), and Caucasian women (ρc = 0.43). BAIΔ estimated %BFΔ with minimal bias (+0.4%) but low precision (±6.3%BF limits-of-agreement). %BFΔ had weaker correlations with BAIΔ (rs = 0.38–0.48) than with BMIΔ (rs = 0.48–0.59). BAI and BMI showed similar cross-sectional associations with %BF in the overall sample and within each race (rs > 0.74).

Conclusions:

We conclude that BAI is less accurate than BMI in tracking adiposity change in midlife women, and would not be a suitable replacement for BMI in most research applications involving adiposity change. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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