Courtney L Jennings

University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Province of the Western Cape, South Africa

Are you Courtney L Jennings?

Claim your profile

Publications (13)36.52 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Near infrared reactance (NIR) is used to measure body fat percentage (BF%), but there is little data on its use in non-obese, regularly exercising individuals. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the limits of agreement between NIR compared to dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for the measurement of BF% in 2 cohorts of regularly exercising individuals. BF% was measured using DXA and NIR in a regular exercising (≥3 sessions/week), healthy active cohort (HA; n=57), and in a regularly exercising and resistance trained (≥2 sessions/week) cohort (RT; n=59). The RT cohort had lower BF% than the HA cohort (15.3±5.5% and 25.8±7.1%, P<0.001). In the HA and RT cohorts, NIR BF% was associated with DXA BF% (R2=0.72, SEE=3.7, p<0.001 and R2=0.50, SEE=4.1 p<0.001, respectively). In the HA cohort, NIR tended to under-predict BF% (mean difference:  - 1.3%; 95% limits of agreement (LOA);  - 8.8 to 6.2%) whereas in the RT cohort, NIR tended to over-predict BF% compared to DXA (mean difference: 1.1; 95% LOA;  - 8.1 to 10.3%). In conclusion, NIR and DXA yield similar average BF% measurements in 2 cohorts of non-obese regularly exercising individuals. However, the rather broad LOA of NIR need to be considered when using NIR to screen for overweight and obesity, or measure and track changes in body composition.
    International Journal of Sports Medicine 01/2013; · 2.27 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Currently, guidelines for obesity thresholds relating to metabolic risk in South African women have not been established. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the level and diagnostic ability of obesity measures [waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) area] to identify black and white South African women with elevated blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. Blood pressure, fasting insulin, glucose, and lipids were measured in 241 black and 188 white South African women. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were performed to determine the diagnostic ability of WC, WHtR, and computer tomography (CT)-derived VAT to identify subjects above metabolic risk thresholds. The Youden index was used to calculate obesity thresholds for metabolic risk variables. WC, WHtR, and VAT were significant determinants of all metabolic risk variables (P<0.05), and differences in the ROC area under the curve (AUC) between obesity measures were small (≈0.08) for all metabolic risk variables, in both ethnic groups. However, the ROC AUC vales for all obesity measures were greater in white compared to black women (P<0.01). WC and VAT thresholds were lower in black women compared to white women, whereas WHtR thresholds varied less between ethnicities. Due to the cost, access, and radiation exposure, CT-derived VAT is not recommended above the use of simple anthropometric measures (WC and WHtR) for the determination of metabolic risk. Furthermore, thresholds of WHtR, due to low variability between ethnicities, may be more useful than WC for ethnic comparisons of risk.
    Metabolic syndrome and related disorders 05/2011; 9(5):353-60.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of obesity and related disease risk is high in black South African (SA) women, possibly influenced by the dietary transition associated with urbanization. This study explored interactions between dietary fat intake and the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFA) -308 G/A polymorphism on obesity, insulin resistance, and serum lipid concentrations in urbanized black SA women. Normal-weight (n = 105) and obese (n = 118) women underwent measurements of body composition, fat distribution, fasting serum lipids, glucose and insulin concentrations, and dietary intake. Participants were genotyped for the functional TNFA -308 G/A polymorphism. The genotype or allele frequency of the TNFA -308 G/A polymorphism did not differ between the BMI groups. However, when dietary fat intake was 30% of total energy intake [percentage energy (%E)], the odds of being obese with the TNFA GA+AA genotype was only 12% of that with GG, but increasing intake of dietary fat (%E) was associated with a significantly faster rate of increase in obesity risk in women with the TNFA GA+AA genotype compared with those with the GG genotype (P = 0.036). There were significant diet-gene interactions between alpha-linolenic acid (%E) and the total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio (P = 0.036), and PUFA (%E) and LDL cholesterol levels (P = 0.026), with participants with the A allele being more responsive to changes in relative fat intake. The TNFA -308 G/A polymorphism modified the relationship between dietary fat intake, obesity risk, and serum lipid concentrations in black SA women.
    Journal of Nutrition 03/2010; 140(5):901-7. · 4.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to compare body fat percent (BF %) using single-site near-IR reactance (NIR) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in a cohort of normal-weight (BMI < 25 kg/m2) black (n 102) and white (n 71); and obese (BMI > or = 30 kg/m2) black (n 117) and white (n 41) South African women (18-45 years). NIR-derived BF % was significantly correlated with DXA-derived BF % in all groups: normal-weight black (r 0.55, 95 % CI: 0.40, 0.67, P < 0.001) and white (r 0.69, 95 % CI: 0.53, 0.79, P < 0.001) women; obese black (r 0.59, 95 % CI: 0.46, 0.70, P < 0.001) and white (r 0.56, 95 % CI: 0.30, 0.74, P < 0.001) women. NIR under-predicted BF% compared to DXA in black women (normal-weight, - 4.36 (sd 4.13) % and obese, - 3.41 (sd 3.72) %), while smaller mean differences were observed in white women (normal-weight, - 0.29 (sd 4.19) % and obese, - 0.81 (sd 3.09) %), irrespective of normal-weight or obese status (P < 0.001). In obese subjects, NIR-derived BF % did not measure values greater than approximately 45 %, while the maximum DXA-derived measure was 58 %. In conclusion, although there was a significant relationship between NIR- and DXA-derived BF %, NIR under-predicted BF % in normal-weight and obese black South African women compared to DXA, but to a greater extent in subjects with very high levels of adiposity (>45 %). The results of single-site NIR as a measure of BF % should therefore be interpreted with caution, particularly in women of African descent and in those with very high levels of adiposity.
    The British journal of nutrition 11/2009; 103(7):1065-9. · 3.45 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and therefore, accurate methods to estimate VAT have been investigated. Computerized tomography (CT) is the gold standard measure of VAT, but its use is limited. We therefore compared waist measures and two dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) methods (Ley and Lunar) that quantify abdominal regions of interest (ROIs) to CT-derived VAT in 166 black and 143 white South African women. Anthropometry, DXA ROI, and VAT (CT at L4-L5) were measured. Black women were younger (P < 0.001), shorter (P < 0.001), and had higher body fat (P < 0.05) than white women. There were no ethnic differences in waist (89.7 +/- 18.2 cm vs. 90.1 +/- 15.6 cm), waist:height ratio (WHtR, 0.56 +/- 0.12 vs. 0.54 +/- 0.09), or DXA ROI (Ley: 2.2 +/- 1.5 vs. 2.1 +/- 1.4; Lunar: 2.3 +/- 1.4 vs. 2.3 +/- 1.5), but black women had less VAT, after adjusting for age, height, weight, and fat mass (76 +/- 34 cm(2) vs. 98 +/- 35 cm(2); P < 0.001). Ley ROI and Lunar ROI were correlated in black (r = 0.983) and white (r = 0.988) women. VAT correlated with DXA ROI (Ley: r = 0.729 and r = 0.838, P < 0.01; Lunar: r = 0.739 and r = 0.847, P < 0.01) in black and white women, but with increasing ROI android fatness, black women had less VAT. Similarly, VAT was associated with waist (r = 0.732 and r = 0.836, P < 0.01) and WHtR (r = 0.721 and r = 0.824, P < 0.01) in black and white women. In conclusion, although DXA-derived ROIs correlate well with VAT as measured by CT, they are no better than waist or WHtR. Neither DXA nor anthropometric measures are able to accurately distinguish between high and low levels of VAT between population groups.
    Obesity 09/2009; 18(3):619-24. · 3.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The appropriateness of the metabolic syndrome criteria as an indicator of cardiovascular disease risk has been challenged in black Africans. Hence, the aims of this study were (1) to examine the level of agreement between the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) metabolic syndrome criteria, which differ in their emphasis on central obesity; (2) to investigate the degree to which these criteria predict insulin resistance, as estimated by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR); and (3) to investigate the extent to which a diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance may be explained by body fat and its distribution. In 103 normal-weight (body mass index <or=25 kg/m(2), mean: 22.0 +/- 1.8 kg/m(2)) and 119 obese (body mass index >or=30 kg/m(2), mean: 33.9 +/- 5.5 kg/m(2)) urbanized black South African women (27 +/- 7 years old), body composition (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), fat distribution (waist and computed tomography), blood pressure, fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, and lipid profiles were measured. Insulin resistance was defined as the upper tertile of HOMA-IR. The overall proportion of individuals who met the IDF and ATP III metabolic syndrome criteria were 13% and 10%, respectively. Agreement was high between the IDF and ATP III metabolic syndrome criteria (kappa = 0.87); however, neither criteria predicted HOMA-IR (kappa = 0.16, 95% confidence interval: 0.05-0.27 and 0.14, 95% confidence interval: 0.05-0.27, respectively). Visceral adipose tissue was the largest contributor to diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome, and waist alone (>80 cm or >88 cm) had an improved specificity (21% or 18% higher, respectively) and positive predictive value (64% or 57% higher, respectively) for identifying insulin resistance compared with the metabolic syndrome criteria. Waist circumference was a better predictor of HOMA-IR than the IDF or ATP III metabolic syndrome criteria in young black African women without known disease. The measurement of waist circumference, as an indicator of disease risk, should therefore be encouraged in the public health setting.
    Metabolism: clinical and experimental 03/2009; 58(2):149-57. · 3.10 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of the study was to examine the association between a functional 4 bp proinsulin gene insertion polymorphism (IVS-69), fasting insulin concentrations, and body composition in black South African women. Body composition, body fat distribution, fasting glucose and insulin concentrations, and IVS-69 genotype were measured in 115 normal-weight (BMI<25 kg/m2) and 138 obese (BMI>or=30 kg/m2) premenopausal women. The frequency of the insertion allele was significantly higher in the class 2 obese (BMI>or=35 kg/m2) compared with the normal-weight group (P=0.029). Obese subjects with the insertion allele had greater fat mass (42.3+/-0.9 vs. 38.9+/-0.9 kg, P=0.034) and fat-free soft tissue mass (47.4+/-0.6 vs. 45.1+/-0.6 kg, P=0.014), and more abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT, 595+/-17 vs. 531+/-17 cm2, P=0.025) but not visceral fat (P=0.739), than obese homozygotes for the wild-type allele. Only SAT was greater in normal-weight subjects with the insertion allele (P=0.048). There were no differences in fasting insulin or glucose levels between subjects with the insertion allele or homozygotes for the wild-type allele in the normal-weight or obese groups. In conclusion, the 4 bp proinsulin gene insertion allele is associated with extreme obesity, reflected by greater fat-free soft tissue mass and fat mass, particularly SAT, in obese black South African women.
    Obesity 02/2009; 17(6):1298-300. · 3.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Subsets of metabolically "healthy obese" and "at-risk" normal-weight individuals have been previously identified. The aim of this study was to explore the determinants of these phenotypes in black South African (SA) women. From a total of 103 normal-weight (BMI <or= 25 kg/m(2)) and 122 obese (BMI >or= 30 kg/m(2)) black SA women, body composition, fat distribution, blood pressure, fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance, and lipid profiles were measured. Questionnaires relating to family history, physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE), and socio-demographic variables were administered. The subjects were classified as insulin sensitive or insulin resistant according to the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (>or=1.95 insulin resistant). Our study showed that 22% of the normal-weight women were insulin resistant and 38% of the obese women were insulin sensitive. Increased visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (P=0.001) and decreased VAT/leg fat mass (P <or= 0.001), independent of total body fatness, distinguished between the phenotypes. Moreover, the insulin-sensitive women were of higher socioeconomic status, did more leisure and vigorous PAEE and were less likely to use injectable contraceptives. Using a regression model, body fat distribution, percent body fat, age, log leisure PAEE, and use of injected contraception accounted for 35% of the variance in HOMA-IR in the normal-weight women. In the obese women, 34% of the variance in HOMA-IR was explained by the same variables, excluding PAEE. No differences in smoking status or family history of metabolic disease were found between the phenotypes. Central fat distribution, total adiposity, socioeconomic status, leisure PAEE, and use of injectable contraceptives distinguished between insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant black SA women.
    Obesity 07/2008; 16(7):1602-9. · 3.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Circulating levels of interleukin (IL)-18 are associated with the metabolic syndrome and risk for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study investigated the association between the circulating IL-18 levels and the -137 G/C polymorphism within the IL-18 gene with metabolic risk factors for CVD in normal-weight and obese black South African women. Blood pressure (BP), body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer), visceral adiposity (computerized tomography), as well as fasting glucose, insulin, lipid profile, IL-18 levels, and IL-18 genotype were measured in 104 normal-weight (body mass index (BMI) < or = 25 kg/m2) and 124 obese (BMI > or = 30 kg/m2) black South African women. Subjects with a GC genotype (23%) had a greater mean arterial pressure (MAP, 90.6+/-11.1 vs 85.5+/-10.3 mmHg, P<0.001) than the subjects with the GG genotype. Serum IL-18 levels were not associated with IL-18 genotype (P=0.985); however, they significantly correlated with percentage of body fat (r=0.25, P<0.001), visceral adiposity (r=0.32, P<0.001), MAP (r=0.22, P=0.001), HOMA-IR (r=0.33, P<0.001), fasting insulin (r=0.25, P<0.001), triglyceride (r=0.16, P<0.05), and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (r=-0.14, P<0.05) levels, after adjusting for age and body fatness. We show for the first time that the GC genotype of the IL-18 -137 G/C polymorphism and the circulating IL-18 levels are independently associated with raised BP. Moreover, fasting IL-18 levels are associated with the other metabolic risk factors for CVD in normal-weight and obese black South African women.
    European Journal of Endocrinology 11/2007; 157(5):633-40. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate body composition differences, especially the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat (%BF), among five ethnic groups. Cross-sectional. Seven hundred and twenty-one apparently healthy women aged 18-60 years (BMI: 17.4-54.0 kg/m(2)) from South Africa (SA, 201 black, 94 European) and New Zealand (NZ, 173 European, 76 Maori, 84 Pacific, 93 Asian Indian). Anthropometry, including waist circumference, and total, central and peripheral body fat, bone mineral content and total appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASMM) derived from dual X-ray absorptiometry. Regression analysis determined that at a BMI of 30 kg/m(2), SA European women had a %BF of 39%, which corresponded to a BMI of 29 for SA black women. For a BMI of 30 kg/m(2) in NZ Europeans, equivalent to 43% body fat, the corresponding BMIs for NZ Maori, Pacific and Asian Indian women were 34, 36 and 26 kg/m(2), respectively. Central fat mass was lower in black SA than in European SA women (P<0.001). In NZ, Pacific women had the lowest central fat mass and highest ASMM, whereas Asian Indian women had the highest central fat mass, but lowest ASMM and bone mineral content. The relationship between %BF and BMI varies with ethnicity and may be due, in part, to differences in central fatness and muscularity. Use of universal BMI or waist cut-points may not be appropriate for comparison of obesity prevalence among differing ethnic groups, as they do not provide a consistent reflection of adiposity and fat distribution across ethnic groups.
    International Journal of Obesity 08/2007; 31(8):1232-9. · 5.22 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine the relationship between body weight, plasma volume, and serum sodium concentration ([Na]) during prolonged endurance exercise. Observational field study. 2000 South African Ironman Triathlon. 181 male triathletes competing in an Ironman triathlon. Body weight, plasma volume, and serum ([Na]) change from pre- to postrace. Significant body weight loss occurred (-4.9 +/- 1.7%; P < 0.0001), while both plasma volume (1.0 +/- 11.2%; P = 0.4: NS) and serum [Na] (0.6 +/- 2.4%; P < 0.001) increased from pre- to postrace. Blood volume (-0.6 +/- 6.6%) and red cell volume (-2.6 +/- 5.5%; P < 0.001) decreased in conjunction with the body weight loss. There was a strong correlation between blood and plasma volume change, both as a percentage, and absolute change in fluid volume (r = 0.9; P < 0.001). Body weight change was positively correlated with plasma volume change (r = -0.4; P < 0.001), but inversely correlated with serum [Na] change (r = -0.4; P < 0.001). Plasma volume change was not significantly correlated with serum [Na] change (r = 0.0; NS). Serum [Na] change was inversely correlated with both percentage of red cell volume change (r = -0.2; P < 0.05) and percentage body weight change (r = -0.4; P < 0.001). Plasma volume and serum [Na] were maintained in male Ironman triathletes, despite significant (5%) body weight loss during the course of the race. Body weight was not an accurate "absolute" surrogate of fluid balance homeostasis during prolonged endurance exercise. Clinicians should be warned against viewing these three regulatory parameters as interchangeable during an Ironman triathlon.
    Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 04/2007; 17(2):116-22. · 1.60 Impact Factor
  • Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise - MED SCI SPORT EXERCISE. 01/2006; 38.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The FitroDyne is a device that attaches to conventional resistance-training equipment to measure speed of movement, from which muscle power is calculated. The aim of this study was to quantify the repeatability of the measurement of muscle power with the FitroDyne during squat jump and biceps curl exercises. Thirty male subjects completed 3 trials, each consisting of 6 squat jumps and 6 biceps curls of increasing loads. Upper body and lower body maximum power was predicted from the force-velocity curves derived from the range of weights used for each trial. Maximum power measurements of a squat jump (range, 911- 1,673 W) and biceps curl (range, 45-110 W) had intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) of R = 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.98) and R = 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.98), respectively. The limits of agreement for the squat jump and biceps curl trials were -17 +/- 96 W and 0.11 +/- 13.90 W, respectively. It may be concluded that muscle power can be measured with a high degree of reliability with the FitroDyne. The limits of agreement need to be considered when data are interpreted.
    The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 12/2005; 19(4):859-63. · 1.80 Impact Factor