Profile of energy expenditure in people with rheumatoid arthritis


No definitive conclusions have been made on the levels of physical activity in the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) population. Similarly no clear consensus has been reached on the correlates and predictors of physical activity in the population.


To profile total energy expenditure (TEE), resting energy expenditure (REE) and physical activity related energy expenditure (PAEE) levels using a validated objective measurement tool and to determine demographic and health related factors which influence and predict TEE and PAEE levels in individuals with RA.


Fifty nine (41 female, 18 male) individuals with RA were recruited to this cross sectional study. Energy expenditure was measured over seven days using SenseWear Armband. Correlational analysis and logistic regression were used to examine the relationship between demographic and health related factors and TEE, REE and PAEE.


A profile of energy expenditure in RA individuals was developed in terms of levels, differences between genders and differences between weekdays and weekend days. Median TEE, PAEE and REE were 2204.0, 409.5 and 1506.2 kcal/day respectively. Energy expenditure was associated with factors such as gender, age, body mass index, employment status, disease severity and smoking.


The findings add to the growing research assessing energy expenditure in the RA population and strengthen the position due to the use of an objective validated tool. Some recommendations on what factors are associated with energy expenditure in the RA population are made, thus unveiling ways to tailor physical activity type interventions in this group.