Differences in skeletal muscle and bone mineral mass between black and white females and their relevance to estimates of body composition

  • Ortiz O
  • Russell M
  • Daley T
 et al. 
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This study tested the hypothesis that black females have an increase in skeletal muscle and bone mineral mass compared with white females matched for age (+/- 5 y), weight (+/- 2 kg), height (+/- 3 cm), and menstrual status. Conventional [underwater weighing, whole body 40K counting (WBC), 3H2O dilution] and newly developed (dual-photon absorptiometry) techniques were used to provide ethnicity-independent estimates of body composition in 28 pairs of matched subjects. Black females had greater appendicular skeletal muscle (P less than 0.001), bone mineral (P less than 0.001), and total body potassium (TBK) (P = 0.05) compared with white females. Two classic coefficients used in body composition research [density of fat-free mass (FFM) for underwater weighing and TBK/FFM for WBC] differed significantly (P less than 0.05) between black and white females; currently applied coefficients underestimated fat in black females. This study confirms that black and white females differ in body composition and that errors in fat estimates occur when ethnicity is not accounted for in body composition models.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Body composition
  • Ethnicity
  • Obesity

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  • O. Ortiz

  • M. Russell

  • T. L. Daley

  • R. N. Baumgartner

  • M. Waki

  • S. Lichtman

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