Anthropometric and bioenergetic characteristics in highland Bolivian children of high and low socio-economic status
Van Praagh, E
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Abstract The aim of this study was to compare the biometric and bioenergetic characteristics of high-attitude Bolivian children of high and low socio-economic status. The sample consisted of 67 children (11 years old) residing in La Paz, Bolivia (3600 m). All children were born and raised at altitude (>3000 m). Twenty-three children were from upper-class families (HA1) and 44 were from lower-class families (HA2). Selected anthropometric characteristics (height, weight, 4 skinfolds, upper arm muscle circumference) were determined in each group by the same researcher. The maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) was determined by a continous and progressive exercise on a Brue cycle ergometer. The maximal anaerobic power (Pmax) was determined by a force-velocity test and the mean power (P30s) was determined by a Wingate test. In addition, we assessed the nutritional status of each subject from biochemical and hematological analyses. HA1 children were taller, heavier, fatter and had a higher upper and muscle circumference than HA2 children. Pmax and P30s expressed in W, W/kg and W/kg lean body mass (LBM) were significantly (p<0.05) lower in HA2 than in HA1. However, there was no significant difference for VO2 max (ml/min/kg, ml/min/kg LBM). The serum ferritin, serum iron, pre-albumin and transferrin saturation were the only biochemical and hematological parameters significantly lower in HA2 than in HA1. These results suggest that among highland Bolivian children, the nutritional status has a determinant role in the process of the development of certain body dimensions, in Pmax and P30s and has no impact on VO2max (ml/min/kg, ml/min/kg LBM).