The Importance of Hydration in Body Composition Assessment in Children Aged 6-16 Years.
Journal of clinical densitometry : the official journal of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry 2020 ; 24: 481-489.
PubMed ID : 33454177
PMCID : PMC8354559
Body composition is associated with many noncommunicable diseases. The accuracy of many simple techniques used for the assessment of body composition is influenced by the fact that they do not take into account tissue hydration and this can be particularly problematic in paediatric populations. The aims of this study were: (1) to assess the agreement of two dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) systems for determining total and regional (arms, legs, trunk) fat, lean, and bone mass and (2) to compare lean soft tissue (LST) hydration correction methods in children. One hundred and twenty four healthy children aged between 6 and 16 years old underwent DXA scans using 2 GE healthcare Lunar systems (iDXA and Prodigy). Tissue hydration was either calculated by dividing total body water (TBW), by 4-component model derived fat free mass (HFFM) or by using the age and sex specific coefficients of Lohman, 1986 (HFFM) and used to correct LST. Regression analysis was performed to develop cross-calibration equations between DXA systems and a paired samples t-test was conducted to assess the difference between LST hydration correction methods. iDXA resulted in significantly lower estimates of total and regional fat and lean mass, compared to Prodigy. HFFM showed a much larger age/sex related variability than HFFM. A 2.0 % difference in LST was observed in the boys (34.5 kg vs 33.8 kg respectively, p < 0.05) and a 2.5% difference in the girls (28.2 kg vs 27.5 kg respectively, p < 0.05) when corrected using either HFFM or HFFM Care needs to be exercised when combining data from iDXA and Prodigy, as total and regional estimates of body composition can differ significantly. Furthermore, tissue hydration should be taken into account when assessing body composition as it can vary considerably within a healthy paediatric population even within specific age and/or sex groups.