Predictive Equation of Body Fat Percentage in Athletes with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: A Pilot Study

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Ordonez, F. J.; Rosety, I.; Fornieles, G.; Rodriguez-Pareja, A.; Rosety, M. A.; Alvero-Cruz, J. R. & Rosety-Rodriguez, M.


The assessment of fat mass (FM) is of great interest for people with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) given that morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease are greater and occur earlier in this group. Furthermore, it may play a key role improving physical performance in athletes with SCI. For the reasons already mentioned, the current study was designed to compare different methods for assessing FM in athletes with SCI. A secondary objective was to identify a predictive equation for FM in this group that is easily reproducible elsewhere. A total of 8 male athletes with complete SCI at or below the 5th thoracic level (T5) competing in a national league volunteered for this study. The percentage of FM was assessed by three different methods: conventional anthropometry (Siri equation), bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and densitometry (DEXA). This research was conducted in full accordance with ethical principles, including the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (version, 2002). Furthermore, the present protocol was approved by an Institutional Ethics Committee. Mean percentage of FM assessed by DXA was 28.76±9.16%. Moreover, Bland-Altman plots suggested conventional anthropometry and BIA underestimated fat mass percentage in this group. Lastly, a predictive equation for fat mass was established as follows: FM (%)=1.9197 (triceps skinfold thickness (mm))+6.5063. It was concluded that both conventional anthropometry and BIA underestimated fat mass in athletes with chronic SCI. Furthermore, a predictive equation of fat mass was recommended for this group due to its low cost and wide availability in any clinical setting.

KEY WORDS: Spinal cord injury; Athlete; Man; Fat mass.

How to cite this article

ORDONEZ, F. J.; ROSETY, I.; FORNIELES, G.; RODRIGUEZ-PAREJA, A.; ROSETY, M. A.; ALVERO-CRUZ, J. R. & ROSETY-RODRIGUEZ, M. Predictive equation of body fat percentage in athletes with chronic spinal cord injury: a pilot study. Int. J. Morphol., 32(1):261-266, 2014.