Beyond Body Mass Index - Body Composition Assessment by Bioimpedance in Routine Endocrine Practice

Avivit Brener, Itai Peleg, Talya Rosenfeld, Sharona Kern, Adi Uretzky, Erella Elkon-Tamir, Gil Rosen, Hila Levinson, Galit Israeli, Hagar Interator, Yael Lebenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To explore the body composition of pediatric patients referred for endocrine evaluation. METHODS: This real-life observational study conducted between January 2018 and January 2020 included 10 001 clinic visits of 3500 children and adolescents; first visits of 5 to 18-year-old patients were included. Anthropometric data, blood pressure levels, pubertal status, and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA, Tanita MC-780 MA) were extracted from medical files. Excluded from the analysis were patients participating in other studies. RESULTS: A total of 1001 patients (48% boys, mean age 11.3 ± 3.4 years, 33.5% prepubertal) were included. Mean anthropometric z-scores were normal and similar for boys and girls. Sex differences in body composition were as follows: boys had lower fat percentage, lower truncal fat percentage, higher appendicular skeletal muscle mass, and a higher muscle-to-fat ratio (MFR) than girls (P < .001 for all). MFR correlated with body mass index-standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS) in overweight/obese patients (r = -0.558, P < .001), although not in underweight patients. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) correlated with BMI-SDS in overweight/obese patients (r = 0.262, P < .001), although not in underweight patients. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) did not correlate with BMI-SDS in either group of extreme weight status. MFR correlated with SBP and DBP in overweight/obese patients (r = -0.230, P < .001 and r = -0.141, P = .018, respectively) as well as in underweight patients (r = 0.331, P < .001 and r = 0.264, P = .005, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support BIA for a more refined characterization of patients referred for endocrine evaluation than BMI-SDS. MFR may be a better surrogate marker of blood pressure levels than BMI-SDS in both underweight and overweight/obese pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-425
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • body composition
  • body mass index
  • endocrine evaluation
  • muscle-to-fat ratio


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