The aims of the study were to evaluate the influence of level of spinal cord injury (SCI) on caloric intake relative to total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and body composition, and to develop a SCI–specific correction factor for the TDEE estimation.
Individuals with paraplegia (PARA, n = 28) and tetraplegia (TETRA, n = 13) were analyzed. Daily caloric intake, basal metabolic rate, and TDEE were obtained using dietary recall, indirect calorimetry, and prediction equations, respectively. Caloric intake and TDEE were adjusted to bodyweight. Body composition was assessed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
Total caloric (PARA 1516.4 ± 548.4, TETRA 1619.1 ± 564.3 kcal/d), fat (PARA 58.6 ± 27.4, TETRA 65.8 ± 29.7 g), and protein (PARA 62.7 ± 23.2, TETRA 71.5 ± 30.9 g) intake were significantly higher in TETRA versus PARA (P < 0.05) when adjusted for bodyweight. Adjusted and unadjusted TDEE (unadjusted: PARA 1851.0 ± 405.3, TETRA 1530.4 ± 640.4 kcal/d) and basal metabolic rate (unadjusted: PARA 1516.6 ± 398.0, TETRA 1223.6 ± 390.2 kcal/d) were significantly higher in PARA versus TETRA (P < 0.05). Bone mineral content (PARA 3.17 ± 0.6, TETRA 2.71 ± 0.5 g), lean body mass (PARA 50.0 ± 8.6, TETRA 40.96 ± 8.8 kg), and regional percent body fat (PARA 36.45 ± 8.0, TETRA 41.82 ± 9.1) were different between groups (P < 0.05). The SCI–specific correction factor was 1.15.
A dichotomy exists in caloric intake, TDEE, and body composition among TETRA and PARA. The SCI–specific correction factor of 1.15 is a promising tool to estimate TDEE in SCI.
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