Lean body mass: The development and validation of prediction equations in healthy adults

Solomon Yu, Thavarajah Visvanathan, John Field, Leigh C. Ward, Ian Chapman, Robert Adams, Gary Wittert, Renuka Visvanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is a loss of lean body mass (LBM) with increasing age. A low LBM has been associated with increased adverse effects from prescribed medications such as chemotherapy. Accurate assessment of LBM may allow for more accurate drug prescribing. The aims of this study were to develop new prediction equations (PEs) for LBM with anthropometric and biochemical variables from a development cohort and then validate the best performing PEs in validation cohorts. Methods: PEs were developed in a cohort of 188 healthy subjects and then validated in a convenience cohort of 52 healthy subjects. The best performing anthropometric PE was then compared to published anthropometric PEs in an older (age ≥ 50 years) cohort of 2287 people. Best subset regression analysis was used to derive PEs. Correlation, Bland-Altman and Sheiner & Beal methods were used to validate and compare the PEs against dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-derived LBM. Results: The PE which included biochemistry variables performed only marginally better than the anthropometric PE. The anthropometric PE on average over-estimated LBM by 0.74 kg in the combined cohort. Across gender (male vs. female), body mass index (< 22, 22- < 27, 27- < 30 and ≥30 kg/m2) and age groups (50-64, 65-79 and ≥80 years), the maximum mean over-estimation of the anthropometric PE was 1.36 kg. Conclusions: A new anthropometric PE has been developed that offers an alternative for clinicians when access to DXA is limited. Further research is required to determine the clinical utility and if it will improve the safety of medication use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalBMC Pharmacology and Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 14 Oct 2013


  • Drugs
  • Lean body mass
  • Older people
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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