Early deaths after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) are of major concern. On the assumption that both decreased and increased basal metabolism might relate to early deaths, we analyzed the risk factors for overall survival to days 30 (OS30) and 60 (OS60). The Harris-Benedict equation was used to calculate basal metabolism. Comparing a patient's basal metabolism (PBM) calculated from pretransplant body weight with the standard basal metabolism (SBM) calculated from standard body weight (body mass index (BMI) = 22), we defined the basal metabolic ratio (BMR) as a parameter (BMR = PBM/SBM). We retrospectively analyzed 360 adult patients transplanted between 1997 and 2006 at a single center in Japan. A multivariate analysis of OS30 showed risk factors to be: BMR < or = 0.95 (low BMR; LBR) (P = 0.01), BMR > 1.05 (high BMR; HBR) (P = 0.005) and non-complete remission (non-CR) (P 5 0.001), whereas a multivariate analysis of OS60 showed those risk factors to be: LBR (P = 0.02), HBR (P = 0.04), non-CR (P = 0.002), and performance status < or = 1 (P = 0.01). OS30 and OS60 were found to be favorable in 0.95 < BMR < or = 1.05 (average BMR; ABR) (96.8 and 90.3% for ABR, 87.1 and 76.2% for LBR, and 87.8 and 81.1% for HBR). In conclusion, BMR could prove to be a predictor of early death after allo-SCT.