There are advantages to the use of easily assessed variables for the prediction of energy expenditures of patients with burns. The purpose of this study was to determine whether height, age, sex, weight, ventilatory status, and diagnosis could be correlated with measured energy expenditures of hospitalized patients. With the use of data from 200 patients, stepwise, multivariate regression analysis derived the following equations: EEE(v)=1925 - 10(A) + 5(W) + 281(S) + 292(T) + 851(B) (R2=0.43); EEE(s)=629 - 11(A) + 25(W) - 609(0) (R2=0.50); where EEE=estimated energy expenditure (kcal/day), v=ventilatory dependency, s=spontaneously breathing, A=age (yr), W=body weight (kg), S=sex (male=1, female=0), diagnosis of T=trauma, B=burn, O=obesity present=1, absent=0). The equations were tested on 100 patients. Measured energy expenditures were not significantly different from calculated EEE(s) or EEE(v) (paired t test, p>0.25). Energy expenditures can be accurately estimated in a variety of patients, including those with major burns with the use of easily attained information.