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Human body composition as related to surface area



Human body composition as related to surface area



European Journal of Pediatrics 135(2): 147-152



There is a linear relationship between extracellular fluid and body surface area in man. During growth the body cell mass, fat-free solids and body fat proportions of body weight increase while the extracellular fluid fraction decreases. Growth stops in men as soon as the body cell mass reaches 22.5 kg/m2 body surface area and in women when it reaches 16.9 kg/m2. The non-muscle cell mass and the muscle cell mass reach a 1:4 ratio in men whereas in women a 1:3.5 proportion (which is more favorable for pregnancy and lactation) is reached. The body composition of the newborn and the infant have fetal characteristics with a low body fat: surface area ratio and a low non-muscle cell mass: surface area ratio. The basal metabolic rate depends on the amount of non-muscle cell mass present and the total energy change depends on body cell mass. This was established by measurements of total body K, thiosulfate space, total body Na, 24 h urine creatinine values and basal metabolic rate.

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Accession: 001085887

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7449797

DOI: 10.1007/bf00441633


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