Objective. Bioimpedance devices are commonly used to assess health parameters and track changes in body composition. However, the cross-sectional agreement between different devices has not been conclusively established. Thus, the objective of this investigation was to examine the agreement between raw bioelectrical variables (resistance, reactance, and phase angle at the 50 kHz frequency) obtained from three bioimpedance analyzers. Approach. Healthy male (n = 76, mean ± SD; 33.8 ± 14.5 years; 83.9 ± 15.1 kg; 179.4 ± 6.9 cm) and female (n = 103, mean ± SD; 33.4 ± 15.9 years; 65.6 ± 12.1 kg; 164.9 ± 6.4 cm) participants completed assessments using three bioimpedance devices: supine bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS), supine single-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (SFBIA), and standing multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (MFBIA). Differences in raw bioelectrical variables between the devices were quantified via one-way analysis of variance for the total sample and for each sex. Equivalence testing was used to determine equivalence between methods. Main results. Significant differences in all bioelectrical variables were observed between the three devices when examining the total sample and males only. The devices appeared to exhibit slightly better agreement when analyzing female participants only. Equivalence testing using the total sample as well as males and females separately revealed that resistance and phase angle were equivalent between the supine devices (BIS, SFBIA), but not with the standing analyzer (MFBIA). Significance. The present study demonstrated disagreement between different bioimpedance analyzers for quantifying raw bioelectrical variables, with the poorest agreement between devices that employed different body positions during testing. These results suggest that researchers and clinicians should employ device-specific reference values to classify participants based on raw bioelectrical variables, such as phase angle. If reference values are needed but are unavailable for a particular bioimpedance analyzer, the set of reference values produced using the most similar analyzer and reference population should be selected.
- bioelectrical impedance analysis
- bioimpedance spectroscopy
- body composition
- phase angle