Total energy expenditure in adults aged 65 years and over measured using doubly-labelled water: International data availability and opportunities for data sharing

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Background: Increasing population lifespan necessitates a greater understanding of nutritional needs in older adults (65 year and over). A synthesis of total energy expenditure in the older population has not been undertaken and is needed to inform nutritional requirements. We aimed to establish the extent of the international evidence for total energy expenditure (TEE) using doubly-labelled water (DLW) in older adults (65 years and over), report challenges in obtaining primary data, and make recommendations for future data sharing. Methods: Four databases were searched to identify eligible studies; original research of any study design where participant level TEE was measured using DLW in participants aged ≥65 years. Once studies were identified for inclusion, authors were contacted where data were not publicly available. Results: Screening was undertaken of 1223 records; the review of 317 full text papers excluded 170 records. Corresponding or first authors of 147 eligible studies were contacted electronically. Participant level data were publicly available or provided by authors for 45 publications (890 participants aged ≥65 years, with 248 aged ≥80 years). Sixty-seven percent of the DLW data in this population were unavailable due to authors unable to be contacted or declining to participate, or data being irretrievable. Conclusions: The lack of data access limits the value of the original research and its contribution to nutrition science. Openly accessible DLW data available through publications or a new international data repository would facilitate greater integration of current research with previous findings and ensure evidence is available to support the needs of the ageing population. Trial registration: The protocol was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO), registration number CRD42016047549.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2018


  • Energy expenditure
  • Elderly
  • Doubly labelled water

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