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Energy expenditure, nutrition status, and body composition in children with cystic fibrosis

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2003.10.010
  • Applied Nutritional Investigation
  • Medicine


Abstract Objective Undernutrition is a frequent complication in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Elevated energy requirements have been found to be 4% to 33% higher than in controls in some studies. Whether or not this is caused by a primary defect or energy metabolism is still a matter of controversy. To this end, we assessed energy expenditure, nutrition status, and body composition of clinically stable CF outpatients. Methods Fifteen clinically stable CF patients, ages 2 to 15 y, were paired with 15 healthy control children. Measurements consisted of anthropometry and body composition. Plasma tocopherol, retinol, and hair zinc content were measured. Resting energy expenditure was determined by indirect calorimetry. Physical activity and dietary intake were recorded by recall methods. Results Two children were nutritionally at risk according to the weight/height index, eight were normal, three were overweight, and two were obese. Body composition was similar in both groups. Zinc, tocopherol, and retinol levels were low in three, two, and three patients, respectively. Resting energy expenditures were 4.7 MJ/d (1127 ± 220 kcal/d) in CF children and 4.63 MJ/d (1108 ± 191 kcal/d) in control children ( P = not significant). Physical activity level was sedentary in 86.6% of CF patients; the rest had a light physical activity pattern. Energy intake represented 141% of the estimated daily energy expenditure. Conclusions Non–oxygen-dependent CF children, without acute respiratory infection, had resting energy expenditures comparable to those of matched controls. Total energy expenditure was similar to or slightly lower than that in healthy children. Dietary recommendations for CF patients need to be reassessed.

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