Department for Health

Climate change makes metabolism test invalid scientists find

Tue Oct 02 12:09:00 BST 2012

Scientists from the Department for Health have shown for the first time how climate change is having a major impact on tests to measure metabolism.

The researchers found that changes in the atmosphere mean the metabolic assessment could be inaccurate by up to seven per cent.

The assessment, known as ‘indirect calorimetry’ is the most widespread ‘gold standard’ method of metabolic assessment. It was developed over a 100 years ago based on assumptions about the amount of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air we breathe.

The test is used by researchers and clinicians to determine resting metabolic rate which is the amount of energy required to maintain vital functions at rest.

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