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The purpose of this study was to validate single-frequency hand-to-foot bioelectrical impedance analysis (HFBIA) for estimating bone mineral content (BMC) using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry as the criterion measure in healthy men and women aged 18–40 years. A total of 80 men and women participated in this study. BMC was estimated on the same day using HFBIA and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The HFBIA device provided higher mean BMC values in men and the entire sample, but not in women. A smaller standard error of estimate was observed in women (0.20, corresponding to 8% of the mean reference BMC values) compared with men (0.39, corresponding to 12% of the mean reference BMC values) and the combined sample (0.31). HFBIA provided a smaller constant error and individual estimation error indicated by the 95% limits of agreement in women (−0.05 ± 0.39) compared with men (−0.16 ± 0.78) and the entire sample (−0.10 ± 0.63). In conclusion, although BMC values were found to be more accurate in women, HFBIA overestimated BMC compared with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, especially in individuals with lower values. Given these results, using HFBIA to measure BMC would be inappropriate for diagnostic purposes.
Stone, Wingo, and Esco are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. Nickerson is with the Dept. of Curriculum & Pedagogy, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX.