Objective: To compare measurements of sleeping metabolic rate (SMR) in infancy with predicted basal metabolic rate (BMR) estimated by the equations of Schofield.
Methods: Some 104 serial measurements of SMR by indirect calorimetry were performed in 43 healthy infants at 1.5, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age. Predicted BMR was calculated using the weight only (BMR-wo) and weight and height (BMR-wh) equations of Schofield for 0-3-y-olds. Measured SMR values were compared with both predictive values by means of the Bland-Altman statistical test.
Results: The mean measured SMR was 1.48 MJ/day. The mean predicted BMR values were 1.66 and 1.47 MJ/day for the weight only and weight and height equations, respectively. The Bland-Altman analysis showed that BMR-wo equation on average overestimated SMR by 0.18 MJ/day (11%) and the BMR-wh equation underestimated SMR by 0.01 MJ/day (1%). However the 95% limits of agreement were wide: -0.64 to +0.28 MJ/day (28%) for the former equation and -0.39 to +0.41 MJ/day (27%) for the latter equation. Moreover there was a significant correlation between the mean of the measured and predicted metabolic rate and the difference between them.
Conclusions: The wide variation seen in the difference between measured and predicted metabolic rate and the bias probably with age indicates there is a need to measure actual metabolic rate for individual clinical care in this age group.