No evidence for a higher resting metabolic rate in noninstitutionalized Alzheimer's disease patients

Kendall E. Donaldson, William H. Carpenter, Michael J. Toth, Michael I. Goran, Paul Newhouse, Eric T. Poehlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: It has previously been suggested that Alzheimer's disease patients have higher resting energy requirements than healthy individuals, which may contribute to their unexplained weight loss. We examined whether resting metabolic rate, the largest component of daily energy expenditure, is elevated in Alzheimer's patients compared with healthy older controls. DESIGN: Cross-sectional SETTING: General Clinical Research Center and Baltimore VA Medical Center PATIENTS: Twenty-five noninstitutionalized demented patients (74 ± 8 years; mean ± SD) with a wide range of Mini- Mental Examination scores (1 to 20) and 73 healthy older individuals (69 ± 7 years). MEASUREMENTS: Resting metabolic rate was measured by indirect calorimetry, fat-free mass and fat mass by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and daily energy intake by food diaries. RESULTS: No differences in fat-free mass and fat mass were noted between Alzheimer's disease patients and healthy older controls. Resting metabolic rate was similar in Alzheimer's disease patients (5446 ± 962 kJ/day) and healthy older individuals (5647 ± 887 kJ/day). These results persisted when resting metabolic rate was statistically adjusted for differences in body composition and age. CONCLUSION: These results provide no evidence for an elevation in resting energy requirements in noninstitutionalized demented patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1232-1234
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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