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Nutrition. 2000 Feb;16(2):101-6.

Determinants of energy intake and energy expenditure in HIV and AIDS.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Nutrition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.


To determine the relative importance of various factors in the causation of wasting related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), quantitative analysis and linear structural modeling was performed on energy metabolism data collected longitudinally and prospectively from 33 men positive for the human immunodeficiency virus at 105 time points over a 3-y period before the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Measured variables included energy intake, total energy expenditure, resting energy expenditure, rate of change in weight, CD4 count, clinical status, appetite, and mood. Derived variables included energy balance, activity-related energy expenditure, and physical activity level. Relative contributions were assessed by linear structural modeling based on multiple regression expressing results as path coefficients for individual relationships. The primary determinant of energy balance was energy intake (r = 0.80). Total energy expenditure made a very minor contribution to energy balance (r = -0.04). Total energy expenditure was primarily determined by activity level (r = 0.91), which itself was negatively related to the presence of opportunistic infection and CD4 count. Energy intake was related to activity level (r = 0.28) and appetite (r = 0.30), which were closely interrelated (r = 0.59). Such linear structural models allow quantitative importance to be apportioned to factors determining weight change in those infected with HIV and represent a powerful tool for future metabolic studies.

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