Reference Values

The NHANES is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These surveys use multiple methods of data collection that include interviews, physical examinations, physiological testing, and biochemical assessments from a representative sample of non-institutionalized civilian residents of the continental United States including Alaska (155). Distribution statistics for stature, weight and selected body circumferences, breadths, and skinfold thicknesses are available from the NHANES at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs.

Estimated means from single-frequency BIA for TBW, FFM, FM, and %FM of non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American adults from the third NHANES between 1988 and 1994 are presented in Figs 1-4 (118). Current NHANES data for BMI have been published, and body composition estimates from DXA are in the current NHANES (108).

NHANES III means for TBW, in Fig. 1, are estimated from BIA for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Mexican-American men and women. TBW means for these men and Black women are approximately 2 to as much as 9L greater than that reported or estimated previously (91,114,115). The large TBW volumes in the non-Hispanic black women and of the other groups of men and women, in Fig. 1, reflects the greater levels of obesity reported for these segments of the population and noted in Figs 3 and 4 (118,156). The TBW data represent cross-sectional results of separate age cohorts, and the age trends reflect differences between these cohorts rather than slopes computed from serial measurements. There is limited serial TBW data for adults in middle age, which indicate that TBW is relatively stable in

age (years)

Fig. 1. Estimated means for total body water (TBW) from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III by 10-year age groups from 20 to 80 years for non-Hispanic white (W), non-Hispanic black (B), and Mexican-American (M) men and women.

age (years)

Fig. 1. Estimated means for total body water (TBW) from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III by 10-year age groups from 20 to 80 years for non-Hispanic white (W), non-Hispanic black (B), and Mexican-American (M) men and women.

age (years)

Fig. 2. Estimated means for fat-free mass (FFM) by 10-year age groups from 20 to 80 years for non-Hispanic white (W), non-Hispanic black (B), and Mexican-American (M) men and women.

age (years)

Fig. 2. Estimated means for fat-free mass (FFM) by 10-year age groups from 20 to 80 years for non-Hispanic white (W), non-Hispanic black (B), and Mexican-American (M) men and women.

age (years)

Fig. 3. Estimated means for TBF by 10-year age groups from 20 to 80 years for non-Hispanic white (W), non-Hispanic black (B), and Mexican-American (M) men and women.

age (years)

Fig. 3. Estimated means for TBF by 10-year age groups from 20 to 80 years for non-Hispanic white (W), non-Hispanic black (B), and Mexican-American (M) men and women.

age (years)

Fig. 4. Estimated means for %FM by 10-year age groups from 20 to 80 years for non-Hispanic white (W), non-Hispanic black (B), and Mexican-American (M) men and women.

age (years)

Fig. 4. Estimated means for %FM by 10-year age groups from 20 to 80 years for non-Hispanic white (W), non-Hispanic black (B), and Mexican-American (M) men and women.

healthy adults (115). It is likely that TBW decreases after menopause and at older ages, but the degree of this decline is unknown.

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