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Paraplegia. 1990 Sep;28(7):448-54.

Body composition and resting energy expenditure in long term spinal cord injury.

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Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.


Body composition and resting metabolic rate (RMR) were measured in 4 spinal cord injured (SCI) paraplegic men. The level of lesion ranged from T4 to L1, and the duration of disability averaged 7.4 +/- 3.3 (SEM) years. Hydrodensitometry was used to determine percent body fat, fat mass and lean body mass (LBM). RMR was measured following a 12-hour fast and 24 hours post-exercise using a ventilated hood. RMR was also predicted from LBM values based on the equation of Cunningham (1980). Results of the body composition measurements indicated a greater than average amount of body fat for men of this age group. RMR and LBM were significantly correlated (r = 0.98, p less than 0.02). However, measured RMR values were lower than predicted in 3 of the 4 subjects, especially when LBM was relatively low. Further investigation into the relationship between LBM and RMR in SCI individuals is warranted using a larger sample size and with subjects representing a wide range of lesion level.

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