Longitudinal change in energy expenditure and effects on energy requirements of the elderly
Background: Very little is known about the longitudinal changes in energy requirements in late life. The purposes of this study were to: (1) determine the energy requirements in late life and how they changed during a 7 year time-span, (2) determine whether changes in fat free mass (FFM) were related to changes in resting metabolic rate (RMR), and (3) determine the accuracy of predicted total energy expenditure (TEE) to measured TEE. Methods. TEE was assessed via doubly labeled water (DLW) technique in older adults in both 1999 (n = 302; age: 74 ± 2.9 yrs) and again in 2006 (n = 87 age: 82 ± 3.1 yrs). RMR was measured with indirect calorimetry, and body composition was assessed with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Results: The energy requirements in the 9th decade of life were 2208 ± 376 kcal/d for men and 1814 ± 337 kcal/d for women. This was a significant decrease from the energy requirements in the 8th decade of life in men (2482 ± 476 kcal/d vs. 2208 ± 376 kcal/d) but not in women (1892 ± 271 kcal/d vs. 1814 ± 337 kcal/d). In addition to TEE, RMR, and activity EE (AEE) also decreased in men, but not women, while FFM decreased in both men and women. The changes in FFM were correlated with changes in RMR for men (r = 0.49, p < 0.05) but not for women (r = -0.08, ns). Measured TEE was similar to Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) predicted TEE for men (2208 ± 56 vs. 2305 ± 35 kcal/d) and women (1814 ± 42 vs. 1781 ± 20 kcal/d). However, measured TEE was different than the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted TEE in men (2208 ± 56 vs. 2915 ± 31 kcal/d (p < 0.05)) and women (1814 ± 42 vs. 2315 ± 21 kcal/d (p < 0.05)). Conclusions: TEE, RMR and AEE decreased in men, but not women, from the 8th to 9th decade of life. The DRI equation to predict TEE was comparable to measured TEE, while the WHO equation over-predicted TEE in our elderly population. © 2013 Cooper et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.