Bioimpedance analysis of body composition in an international twin cohort

Adam D. Tarnoki, David L. Tarnoki, Emanuela Medda, Rodolfo Cotichini, Maria A. Stazi, Corrado Fagnani, Lorenza Nisticò, Pierleone Lucatelli, Emanuele Boatta, Chiara Zini, Fabrizio Fanelli, Claudio Baracchini, Giorgio Meneghetti, Giuseppe Schillaci, Janos Osztovits, Gyorgy Jermendy, Róbert G. Kiss, István Préda, Kinga Karlinger, Agnes LannertJulia Metneki, Andrea A. Molnar, Zsolt Garami, Viktor Berczi, Ildiko Halasz, Gyorgy Baffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: Multiple twin studies have demonstrated the heritability of anthropometric and metabolic traits. However, assessment of body composition parameters by bioimpedance analysis (BIA) has not been routinely performed in this setting. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: Study subjects were recruited and assessed at twin festivals or at major university hospitals in Italy, Hungary, and the United States to estimate the influence of genetic and environmental components on body composition parameters in a large, wide age range, international twin cohort by using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Subjects: 380 adult twin pairs (230 monozygotic and 150 dizygotic pairs; male:female ratio, 68:32; age years 49.1 ± 15.4; mean ± standard deviation; age range 18-82) were included in the analysis. Results: Heritability was calculated for weight (82%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 78-85), waist and hip circumferences (74%; 95%CI: 68-79), body fat percentage (74%; 95%CI: 69-79), fat-free mass (74%; 95%CI: 69-79) and body mass index (79%; 95%CI: 74-83). The completely environmental model showed no impact of shared environmental effects on the variance, while unshared environmental effects were estimated as between 18% and 26%. Conclusions: BIA findings provide additional evidence to the heritability of anthropometric attributes related to obesity and indicate the practical value of this simple method in supporting efforts to prevent obesity-related adverse health events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e291-e297
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • Body composition parameters
  • Genetics
  • Twin study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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