Use of mid-upper arm circumference for evaluation of nutritional status of children and for identification of high-risk groups for malnutrition in rural Bangladesh
Measurements of mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of 8,881 children were considered cross-sectionally to determine the effects of diarrhoea, breast-feeding, and birth-spacing on the nutritional status of children in rural Matlab, Bangladesh. It was observed that age was one of the most significant determinants of child nutrition. The youngerchildren(<2 years) had significantly higher levels of severe malnutrition than the children aged 2 years or older. Children who had diarrhoea during the last 12 months prior to the study had significantly (p<0.001) higher severe malnutrition than the children who did not suffer from diarrhoea. Children born with a longer interval after birth of an elder sibling (24+ months) and who were breastfed for a longer duration (2-3 years) were less likely to be severely malnourished than those who were born with a shorter birth interval or who terminated breast-feeding prior to 2 years of age. Education of mothers, housing space, family size, religion, and sex of children had significant effects on the nutritional status of children. Results of the study suggest that MUAC is a potential anthropometric indicator of child nutrition.
J Health Popul Nutr 2000 Dec;18(3):171-180