Vol. 121, No. 1 (Supplement) 2016
Supplement abstract

Investigating body composition in wheelchair athletes

Published 2017-10-06


  • Paralympic,
  • spinal cord injury,
  • fat mass

How to Cite

Cavedon, V., Milanese, C., Cecchini, M. P., & Zancanaro, C. (2017). Investigating body composition in wheelchair athletes. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 121(1), 198. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/ijae/article/view/2336


Subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI) are at risk for adverse changes in body composition (BC), which are harmful for their health and relevant to sport performance. This study investigated whole-body and regional BC in wheelchair athletes (WA) by comparing tetraplegic and paraplegic WA with a larger sample of healthy males athletes. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used by one operator to measure subtotal (total-body less head) and regional (arms, legs and trunk) body composition (lean mass [LM], bone mineral content [BMC], fat mass [FM] and fat mass percentage [%FM]) in twenty-seven male WA aged 30.0±9.4y with chronic SCI. WA were classified as tetraplegic (lesion above T1; Tetra, n=10) and paraplegic (lesion at T1 and below; Para, n=17) and matched each to three healthy males athletes (n=81) on the basis of DXA area and BMI. BC outcomes were compared in Tetra and Para as well as Tetra and Para, and their respective control with the t-test for independent samples. Alpha value was set at 0.05 and p-values corrected for multiple comparisons (pc; Benjamini and Hochberg procedure). Percent FM was significant higher in Tetra vs. Para at the subtotal and regional level (0.024