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Indian Journal of Forensic and Community Medicine

Validity of Mid upper arm circumference for screening undernutrition among preschool children

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Author Details : Vijaykumar P Mane, Trupti B Naik, Mallappa O, Omprakash Ambure

Volume : 2, Issue : 3, Year : 2015

Article Page : 144-146

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Introduction: Malnutrition is widely recognized as a major health problem in developing countries. For practical purposes, anthropometric measurements are the most useful tool for assessing the nutritional status of children. Mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) has been proposed as an alternative to weight-for-height (W/H) index as a measure of acute malnutrition because of its low cost and ease of performance, particularly for rapid field assessments of nutritional status in circumstances where resources and trained personnel are limited.

Objectives: To estimate the validity of mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) measurement as a screening method in detection of wasting among preschool children
Materials and methods: A community based cross sectional study was done for a duration of 3 months in Bhadravati taluk, Shivamogga district, Karnataka state. 210 preschool children of either sex in the age group of 1-3 years (12- 36 months) were included in the study by cluster sampling technique. Anthropometric measurements were recorded using standard techniques.
Results: The prevalence of wasting and severe wasting was found to be in 21 (10%) and 2 (0.9%) of preschool children respectively using mid upper arm circumference against 28 (13.3%) and 6 (2.9%) respectively using Weight for Height index. The sensitivity of MUAC in detecting wasting was found to be around 35% in our study whereas the specificity was 95%.
Conclusion: MUAC could identify very few children as undernourished against W/H index. Further studies are needed to test the findings of our study.
Keywords: Cluster sampling, Mid upper arm circumference, Validity, Wasting

How to cite : Mane V P, Naik T B, Mallappa O, Ambure O, Validity of Mid upper arm circumference for screening undernutrition among preschool children. Indian J Forensic Community Med 2015;2(3):144-146

Copyright © 2015 by author(s) and Indian J Forensic Community Med. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) (