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Influence of 12-week exercise training on fat mass percentage in adolescents with Down syndrome

Fransisco J Ordonez, Manuel Rosety, Manuel Rosety-Rodriguez

Med Sci Monit 2006; 12(10): CR416-419

ID: 459195

Available online: 2006-10-01

Published: 2006-10-01

Background: Current fi ndings suggest that more attention needs to be given to the increase in body mass achieved by disabled populations, especially by individuals with mental retardation, to minimize long-term negative health consequences. Accordingly, it would be of interest to design adequate strategies
based on physical activities that may be easily performed to ensure adherence as a healthy lifestyle
choice for these populations.
Material/Methods: To attain this goal, 22 male adolescents with Down’s syndrome (mean age: 16.2±1.0 years) underwent a 12-week physical exercise intervention consisting of three sessions of one hour per week in both water and on land for 12 weeks. Fat mass percentage was calculated from anthropometric
measurements according to the Durnin-Womersley equation. A paired t test was performed to
evaluate possible differences in antropometrical characteristics between before and after the physical
exercise intervention.
Results: According to the body mass index, it was observed that 31.8% of the studied individuals presented overweight and 27.3% of them were obese before starting our experiment. The mean value of
the percentage of fat mass was reduced signifi cantly, from 31.8±3.7% to 26±2.3%, at the end of the
study (p=0.021).
Conclusions: We may conclude that the adolescents with Down’s syndrome were able to reduce their fat mass percentage signifi cantly when performing a 12-week training program, which could have important
impact on the comorbidity associated with obesity and on the quality of life of this population.

Keywords: Body Composition, Adolescent, Body Mass Index, Down Syndrome - metabolism, Exercise - physiology, Obesity - rehabilitation, Skinfold Thickness, Time Factors