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Utilization of arm span instead of height in body mass index calculation in elderly subjects

Authors Yilmaz O, Tufan F, Bahat G, Karan MA

Received 25 December 2015

Accepted for publication 31 December 2015

Published 7 March 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 285—286

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S103151

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Ozlem Yilmaz, Fatih Tufan, Gulistan Bahat, Mehmet Akif Karan

Department of Geriatrics, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

We read with interest the article by Falsarella et al.1 The authors investigated the relationship between body composition and frailty in community-dwelling elderly individuals aged 65 years or older. The findings of this study have considerable importance in terms of evolving preventive, diagnostic, and treatment measures for frailty in the elderly population. We would like to make a comment on this well-designed study. For calculating body mass index (BMI), using arm span instead of height would be more accurate.2 Conditions such as kyphosis and asymptomatic vertebral fractures are commonly seen in elderly individuals (especially in frail ones), and calculation of BMI using height may result in overestimation of BMI in these circumstances. In this way, subjects with low BMI may be considered to have normal BMI, and this may result in underestimation of malnutrition, which is an important contributor to frailty phenotype.

View original paper by Falsarella and colleagues.

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