Rationale: It is well established that resting energy expenditure (REE) decreases with age. Data derived from indirect calorimetry (IC) are still limited with respect to the number of high aged individuals, BMI groups and health conditions. Therefore, IC generated REE of the BASAROT sample and those calculated according to the Harris-Benedict (HB) equation were used to re-evaluate the proposed association between REE and age. Methods: The IC-BASAROT sample combines the result of IC performed in 2622 individuals from 10 centers (7 Germany, 2 Italy, 1 Netherlands) done under strictly standardized conditions (e.g. at least 8h of fasting) in free-living, mostly healthy adults aged 18 to 100 years including all BMI ranges. IC was performed by canopy technique (Cosmed Quark RMR/Sensor Medics Vmax29) in 96.5% of cases and by face mask (Cosmed Fitmate) in 3.5%. Weight was measured by calibrated scales and height was determined to the nearest of 1mm. Results: REE in the total sample (BMI: 26.9±9.1 kg/m², 43.7±17.6 y) correlated more positively with body weight than with BMI (r=0.768; p<0.001 vs. r=0.571; p<0.001). Gender+body weight explained 75% of REE variance, gender+BMI 69% and gender+age only 28%. To reduce confounding by body weight we performed age-related analysis in the subgroup of women weighing 50-79 kg (n=780, BMI: 23.4±3.4 kg/m², 41.4±18.5 y) and men weighing 60-89 kg (n=500, BMI: 24.9±3.0 kg/m², 47.5±19.3 y) and compared results with REEHB (tab. 1). IC results from 18 to 100 y showed an approximately 50% lower decrease in REE than HB in women (-129 kcal/d vs. - 257 kcal/d) and in men (-200 kcal/d vs. -406 kcal/d, tab. 1). REEIC (n=1280) did not correlate with age (r=-0.042; p=0.132). In line, we observed a significant overestimation of REE by HB up to 39 y in both sexes and an underestimation in men 60 y of age and older. Conclusion: Age-related decline in REE appears to be lower than expected and might due to changes in body composition both in the younger and older generation. No indication of the often proposed systematic overestimation of HB in women was seen. Overall, findings should be considered in future models for estimating REE.
- energy expenditure