Age-related pattern in body composition changes for 18-69 year old women

G. P. Nassis, N. D. Geladas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Aim. The aim of this study was to describe the age-related pattern in body composition changes for women 18-69 years old. A secondary objective was to assess the relationship between accumulated physical activity and body composition. Methods. Anthropometric measures, including height, body mass, waist and hip circumference and skinfolds thickness, were taken from 441 healthy women placed in 5 age groups (group 1: 18-29 years, n=71; group 2: 30-39 years, n=69; group 3: 40-49 years, n=159; group 4: 50-59 years, n=92 and group 5: 60-69 years, n=50). Physical activity was assessed with a questionnaire. A 1-way ANOVA, with group 1 as the control and Pearson correlation coefficient were employed for statistical analysis. Results. Body Mass Index, fat mass and waist to hip ratio were all higher in the age groups of 40-49 years and above (21.8±0.4 kg/m2, 14.7±0.6 kg, 0.73±0.01 for age group 18-29 years and 24.7±0.3 kg/m 2, 20.8±0.4 kg and 0.76±0.01 for age group 40-49 years, respectively; means±S.E.M; p<0.01 for all variables). In contrast, fat free mass remained unchanged in the age spectrum studied. Central adiposity, as indicated by the trunk to extremity skinfold ratio, increased after 50-59 years compared with the 18-29 years old group (p<0.01). Body fatness and central adiposity were associated with aging (r=0.16 to 0.46, p<0.05), but not with accumulated physical activity. Conclusion. The results of this cross-sectional study showed an age-related increase in body fatness and central adiposity with no detectable change in fat free mass in these women. These changes were not associated with physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-333
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Body composition
  • Physical activity
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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