Assessment of body composition of male patients with type 2 diabetes by bioelectrical impedance analysis

Author(s): Baltadjiev AG, Baltadjiev GA


Introduction: Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder and as such should affect the components of body composition of diabetics. The changes it induces in patients complement the anthropological characteristics of this disease. The AIM of the present study was to assess the effect type 2 diabetes has on some of the body composition components in male diabetics.

Material and methods: The study included 169 male patients with type 2 diabetes. All patients (ethnical Bulgarian) were allocated into two age groups: group 1--patients aged 40-60 years and group 2--patients aged 61-80 years. Direct measurements of parameters were performed with a Tanita body composition analyser. The bioimpedance parameters we measured were body fat percentage (%BF), total body water percentage (%TBW), muscle mass (MM), bone mass (BM), and visceral fat (VF). The derived parameters were total body fat (TBF) (kg), active body mass (ABM) (kg), active body mass percentage.

Results: Body composition of male diabetics aged 40-60 years: %BF, VF and TBF were statistically significantly higher in diabetics than in healthy controls. Body composition of male diabetic patients aged 61-80 years: BM and VF were significantly higher in diabetic patients than in controls. %BF and MM did not have a high statistical significance. Inter-age comparison of body composition in male diabetics: we found that %BF, %TBW, MM and BM tend to be higher in 40-60-year-olds. Visceral fat was increased in the 61-80-year-olds, the difference reaching high statistical significance.

Conclusion: Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) of body composition showed the total body fat in male diabetics of both age groups to be greater than that in controls. TBF was greater in the younger age group at the expense of the subcutaneous fat, while in the more elderly patients it was the visceral fat that was increased, which makes their body composition correlate rather adversely with the prognosis, course and outcome of the disease. The relative percentage of active body mass was greater in the healthy individuals than in diabetic patients. This parameter was higher in the younger age group of diabetic patients than in the more elderly patients; this finding is probably due to the longer duration of the disease and also to aging changes such as osteoporosis, muscle atrophy and decreased quantities of body water.

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