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Body composition is a good indicator of an individual’s health and physical status. In addition to total body fat, fat distribution is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and insulin resistance/diabetes in elderly. There are a limited number of studies focused on the body composition of elderly populations in Turkey.
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate body composition in the Turkish elderly living in nursing homes.
The sample included a total of 164 adults (91 females and 73 males), aged 65 years and over, living in Ankara nursing homes. According to the standard anthropometric protocols weight, height, skinfold thicknesses, and arm circumference were taken, and the body mass index (BMI), fat mass, fat free mass and arm fat area were calculated. The study results showed that males were significantly heavier and taller, whereas BMI were higher in females. The comparison of arm fat area between sexes showed that females have significantly (p<0.001) greater values. Total body fat (kg) was higher in females and decreases with age for both sexes, where this decline is greater in elderly females.
In conclusion, the body composition of elderly can provide information on the general health status, and support clinicians to understand more in their treatment progress.