Volume depletion can lead to migraines, dizziness, and significant decreases in a subject's ability to physically perform. A major cause of volume depletion is dehydration, or loss in fluids due to an imbalance in fluid intake to fluid excretion. Because proper levels of hydration are necessary in order to maintain both short and long term health, the ability to monitor hydration levels is growing in clinical demand. Although devices capable of monitoring hydration level exist, these devices are expensive, invasive, or inaccurate and do not offer a continuous mode of measurement. The ideal hydration monitor for consumer use needs to be characterized by its portability, affordability, and accuracy. Also, this device would need to be noninvasive and offer continuous hydration monitoring in order to accurately assess fluctuations in hydration data throughout a specified time period. One particular method for hydration monitoring that fits the majority of these criteria is known as bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA). Although current devices using BIA do not provide acceptable levels of accuracy, portability, or continuity in data collection, BIA could potentially be modified to fit many, if not all, desired customer specifications. The analysis presented here assesses the viability of using BIA as a new standard in hydration level measurement. The analysis uses data collected from 22 subjects using an existing device that employs BIA. A regression derived for estimating TBW based on the parameters of age, weight, height, sex, and impedance is presented. Using impedance data collected for each subject, a regression was also derived for estimating impedance based on the factors of age, weight, height, and sex. The derived regression was then used to calculate a new impedance value for each subject, and these new impedance values were used to estimate TBW. Through a paired-t test between the TBW values derived by using the direct measurements versus the calculated measurements of impedance, the two samples were found to be comparable. Considerations for BIA as a noninvasive measurement of hydration are discussed.
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