Anthropometric prediction of DXA-measured body composition in female team handball players

Background: The relevance of body composition (BC) to performance in sport has long been appreciated with special concern on the total and regional proportion of fat and muscle. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is able to accurately measure BC, but it may not be easily available in practice; anthropometry has long been used as a simple and inexpensive field method to objectively assess BC. The aim of this study was twofold: first, to develop and validate a sport-specific anthropometric predictive equation for total body fat mass (FM) and lean mass components in female handball players to be used in the sport setting; second, to cross-validate in female team handball players several independently developed, predictive equations for BC in female athletes. Methods: A total of 85 female team handball players (30 wings, 31 backs, 14 pivots, 10 goalkeepers) of different competitive levels underwent anthropometry and a whole-body DXA scan. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to develop predictive equations in a derivation sample (n = 60) of randomly selected players using demographic and anthropometric variables. The developed equations were used to predict DXA outcomes in an independent validation sample (n = 25). Results: Statistically significant (P < 0.001) models were developed for total body FM (adjusted R2 = 0.943, standard error of the estimate, SEE = 1,379 g), percentage FM (adjusted R2 = 0.877, SEE = 2.00%), fat-free soft tissue mass (FFSTM) (adjusted R2 = 0.834, SEE = 2,412 g), fat-free mass (FFSTM + bone mineral content; adjusted R2 = 0.829, SEE = 2,579 g). All models were robust to collinearity. Each developed equation was successfully validated in the remaining 25 players using correlation analysis, mean signed difference, t-test, and Bland–Altman plot. The whole dataset of team handball players (n = 85) was used to cross-validate several predictive equations independently developed by others in female athletes. Equations significantly (P < 0.001 for all; t-test) over- or underestimated the corresponding DXA measurements. Discussion: It is concluded that in team female handball players the anthropometric equations presented herein are able to estimate body fat and FFSTM with accuracy. Several BC predictive anthropometric equations developed in different female athletic populations revealed inaccurate when tested in team handball players. These results should be of use for coaches, physical trainers, and nutritionists when evaluating the physical status of female team handball players.
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Subjects: handball female investigation method body body indices constitution anthropometry prognosis
Notations: sport games biological and medical sciences
DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5913
Published in: PeerJ
Published: 2018
Volume: 6
Issue: e5913
Pages: 1-15
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced