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Open AccessArticle

Use of Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) to Predict Malnutrition among Sri Lankan Schoolchildren

1
National Institute of Health and Nutrition, National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, 1-23-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8636, Japan
2
Department of Global Health Promotion, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan
3
Department of Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, P.O. Box 6, Thalagolla Road, Ragama 11010, Sri Lanka
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010168
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 26 December 2019 / Accepted: 2 January 2020 / Published: 7 January 2020
The double burden of malnutrition (under- and overnutrition) is a serious public health issue in childhood. The mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) is a simple tool for screening nutritional status, but studies of the optimal cutoff to define malnutrition are limited. This study aimed to explore the prediction of malnutrition by MUAC in Sri Lankan schoolchildren. The participants were 538 students (202 boys, 336 girls) aged 5–10 years. Spearman’s rank correlation was calculated for MUAC and both body-mass-index-for-age z-score (BAZ) and height-for-age z-score (HAZ). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was conducted to assess the ability of MUAC to correctly classify malnutrition, after stratifying for age and birth weight. MUAC correlated significantly with BAZ (r = 0.84) and HAZ (r = 0.35). The areas under the ROC curve for thinness, overweight, obesity, and stunting were 0.88, 0.97, 0.97, and 0.77, respectively. The optimal MUAC cutoff values for predicting thinness and stunting were 167.5 mm and 162.5 mm, respectively; the optimal cutoffs for predicting overweight and obesity were 190.5 mm and 218.0 mm, respectively. These cutoffs differed after stratification by age group and birth weight. Our results confirm MUAC to be a useful tool for monitoring growth in schoolchildren. View Full-Text
Keywords: child malnutrition; anthropometry; mid-upper arm circumference; BMI-for-age z-score; height-for-age z-score; thinness and stunting; overweight and obesity; cutoffs; schoolchildren; Sri Lanka child malnutrition; anthropometry; mid-upper arm circumference; BMI-for-age z-score; height-for-age z-score; thinness and stunting; overweight and obesity; cutoffs; schoolchildren; Sri Lanka
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Shinsugi, C.; Gunasekara, D.; Takimoto, H. Use of Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) to Predict Malnutrition among Sri Lankan Schoolchildren. Nutrients 2020, 12, 168.

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