Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/21/2001
Publication Date: 10/1/2002
Citation: ROUBENOFF, R., WALSMITH, J.M., LUNDGREN, N.T., SNYDMAN, L., DOLINKOWSKI, G.G., ROBERTS, S. LOW PHYSICAL ACTIVITY REDUCES TOTAL ENERGY EXPENDITURE IN WOMEN WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DIETARY INTAKE RECOMMENDATIONS. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION. 2002;76:774-9. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes cachexia, a metabolic response characterized by loss of muscle mass and elevated resting energy expenditure (REE). However, energy expenditure in physical activity in subjects with RA is lower than that in healthy subjects. It is not known which effect predominates in regulating total energy expenditure (TEE), and thus whether the dietary energy requirements of subjects with RA are higher or lower than those of healthy subjects. Our objective was to determine TEE in women with RA by using the reference method of doubly labeled water ((2)H(2)(18)O). In this case-control study, we examined 20 women with RA and 20 healthy women who were matched for age and body mass index. The patients with RA were cachectic (their body cell mass was 14% lower than that of the controls, P < 0.001), but REE was not elevated, reflecting good disease control. Mean (+/- SD) TEE was 1344 kJ/d lower in the patients than in the controls (9133 +/- 1335 compared with 10 477 +/- 1992 kJ/d; P < 0.02). The energy expenditure in physical activity of the patients was 1034 kJ/d lower than that of the controls (P < 0.04), which accounted for 77% of the difference in TEE between the 2 groups. The physical activity level (TEE/REE) of the patients also tended to be lower than that of the controls (1.70 +/- 0.24 compared with 1.89 +/- 0.36; P < 0.07). A low physical activity level is the main determinant of lower-than-normal TEE, and thus energy requirements, in women with RA.