Body composition of Aboriginal Australian women: comparison with age-matched Caucasians
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Although Aboriginal Australians (AA) exhibit an android fat deposition profile and suffer from a high incidence of type 2 diabetes, a comprehensive body composition assessment of AA has not yet been reported. The body composition of 16 non-diabetic AA women and 16 healthy age- and weight-matched Caucasian women (C) showed no significant ethnic differences in height, total body bone mineral density, total and appendicular skeletal muscle mass, and % fat. The abdominal fat-to-lean soft tissue ratio correlated more highly with age in AA (r=0.79, p<0.001) than in C (r=0.59, p<0.05) and with % fat in AA (r=0.67, p<0.01) than in C (r=0.54, p<0.05). However, analysis of variance showed that the difference between the two ethnic groups was not significant. Key findings are that dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry can accurately assess adiposity, and that hip girth should emerge as a valid predictor of central adiposity, in AA women.