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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1990 Oct;44(10):741-7.

Resting and sleeping energy expenditure in the elderly.

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  • 1Department of Human Biology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


An estimate of a patient's energy needs is usually derived from equations, which predict energy expenditure (EE) by considering sex, age and body weight. Due to the increasing number of elderly people in a hospital population, more data on energy requirements in this age-group are needed. In this study resting energy expenditure (REE) of 40 healthy men and women, aged 51-82 years, was measured using a ventilated hood system. The results showed that some commonly used prediction equations underestimated REE by approximately 6 per cent. REE was highly correlated with fat free mass (FFM) (r = 0.88; P less than 0.001) and body weight (r = 0.85; P less than 0.001). A stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the combination of body weight, sex and age resulted in the best prediction for REE; REE (kcal) = 1641 + 10.7 weight (kg)--9.0 age (years)--203 sex (1 = male, 2 = female) (r = 0.92). However, REE of an individual may be over- or underestimated by +/- 225 kcal (10-20 per cent) due to large between-subject variations. We suggest therefore that the energy requirements of elderly people should be measured rather than predicted. Due to small within-subject variations (including measurement error) a single REE measurement would suffice. Sleeping energy expenditure (SEE) was 7 per cent lower than REE.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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