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Healthy aging: further research needed on measurement methods in geriatrics
Views:78 Release time:2018/11/13

Today’s society is faced with an aging population. The past has seen the development of many methods for measuring body composition in older adults. However, some of these techniques are not available to medical practices and hospital facilities or are in dire need of optimization.

That’s is not an easy question to answer since body composition includes different compartments and therefore several assessment methods. Experts can use diagnostic imaging techniques such as MRI and CT scans to measure muscle mass for example. They are considered the gold standard for muscle mass measurement because they are more accurate than indirect methods such as bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) for example. It is considered an indirect method because it only captures impedance, i.e., the effective resistance to alternating current, and subsequently measures the distribution of conductive tissue – tissue that is rich in water and electrolytes -, and non-conductive tissue such as body fat for example. A major challenge of BIA is to yield a valid and accurate percentage of muscle mass. We only measure resistance, put it in relation to body and weight and subsequently try to calculate the proportional percentage of muscle mass using statistical analysis and algorithms.

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