Calculating energy requirements for men with HIV/AIDS in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Feb;57(2):209-17. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601536.


Objectives: 1. To determine if resting energy expenditure (REE) adjusted for body composition is elevated in HIV-positive males when compared with healthy controls in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. 2. To examine the accuracy of prediction equations for estimating REE in people with HIV. 3. To determine if REE adjusting for body composition is significantly different between those HIV-positive subjects reporting lipodystrophy (LD) or weight loss (>or=5%) and those who are weight stable when compared to controls.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Tertiary referral hospital HIV unit and an outpatient clinic specializing in HIV care.

Subjects: HIV-positive males (n=70) and healthy male controls (n=16).

Methods: REE was measured using indirect calorimetry. Body composition was assessed using bioelectrical impedance analysis.

Results: 1. REE when adjusted for fat-free mass and fat mass using the general linear model (analysis of covariance) was greater in HIV-positive subjects than controls (7258+/-810 kJ, n=70 vs 6615+/-695 kJ, n=16, P<0.05). 2. The Harris and Benedict, Schofield, Cunningham and the two equations previously published by Melchior and colleagues in HIV-positive subjects all gave an estimate of REE significantly different from the measured REE in the HIV-positive subjects, therefore a new prediction equation was developed. The inability of the published equations to predict REE in the different HIV-positive subgroups reflected the heterogeneity in body composition. 3. REE adjusted for fat-free and fat mass was significantly greater in the both the HIV patients who were weight stable and those with lipodystrophy compared with the healthy controls.

Conclusion: REE is significantly higher in HIV-positive males when compared with healthy controls. Body composition abnormalities common in HIV render the use of standard prediction equations for estimating REE invalid. When measuring REE in HIV-positive males adjustment steps should include fat-free and fat mass.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / adverse effects*
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lipodystrophy / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Weight Loss / physiology