Researchers at Central State University and Wright State University School of Medicine are asking African-Americans to participate in an ongoing research study called "Health Assessment 2000." The study is evaluating a new method for measuring the amount of muscle and fat in the human body. The study also examines how people perceive their bodies, their health and their quality of life.
If proven successful, the new method could change the way health care professionals assess a patient's risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health problems, according to Dr. Wm. Cameron Chumlea, the study's principal investigator. "Health Assessment 2000" is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study is conducted by Wright State's Division of Human Biology in collaboration with the Gerontology Program in the Department of Sociology at Central State University.
Over the next four years, "Health Assessment 2000" will recruit a total of 450 research participants 18 to 65 years of age. Half of them will be African-American and half will be white.
Persons participating in "Health Assessment 2000" will receive a thorough health screening examination that includes body composition measurements, physical measurement of body dimensions, cholesterol tests, and a health history. The testing takes about three and a half hours and is conducted at Wright State's Division of Human Biology in Yellow Springs. "Health Assessment 2000" participants will be reimbursed for their time and travel expenses. For more information, call the Division of Human Biology at 1-800-390-2517.
The new body composition method is based on a technology called bioimpedance, which is widely used today in various health clinics and health clubs to measure the amount of muscle and fat in the body. The new impedance equipment being tested measures at multiple-frequency electrical signals and provides detailed information about the distribution of muscle, fat, and water in the body.
"If bioimpedance works, this new method being tested in 'Health Assessment 2000' should provide more detailed information about a person's risk for obesity than can be predicted based on a person's height and weight," Chumlea says.