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October 26, 1963

The Body Cell Mass and Its Supporting Environment; Body Composition in Health and Disease.

Author Affiliations

Washington, D.C.

JAMA. 1963;186(4):441. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710040167024

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Unlike the usual book on fluids and electrolytes this volume, based on the multiple isotope dilution technique, is a much more complete treatise on body composition. It is well organized and begins with sections on methodology, interpretation, calculation, and statistical methods, which are carefully described but are not easy reading compared to the rest of the text. The fourth chapter, which provides data on body composition in normal adults, is lengthened by some spacious graphs, often having very few coordinates illustrated. It does provide, however, a wealth of information which could serve as the standard of reference for this field. The second section applies the data to an abundance of clinical material, including some very fascinating case studies.

The reader gains considerable knowledge of the distortions of body composition produced by various diseases. The authors recognize and discuss the many limitations of their study technique. Some of the automotive analogies,

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