Comparison of Weight-for-Height Z-score and mid-upper arm circumference to diagnose moderate and severe acute malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months

MUAC and WHZ comparison in malnourished children

  • Attia Bari The Children's Hospital & The Institute of Child Health, Lahore,
  • Mubeen Nazar
  • Aisha Iftikhar
  • Sana Mehreen
Keywords: Malnutrition, Mid upper arm circumference, Under five children, WHZ score

Abstract

Objective: To compare weight for height (WHZ) and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) to diagnose malnutrition in children aged 6–59 months and to determine the association of various risk factors with the nutritional status of the children.

Methods: Descriptive study conducted at the Department of Paediatric Medicine of The Children’s Hospital Lahore from May 2017 to April 2018. A total of 257 children 6 to 59 months of age having MUAC of <125mm were included. WHZ scoring was done and compared with MUAC.

Results: There was slight male predominance 135 (52.5%). Mean age of children was 13.43 + 8.81 months (95% CI: 12.34-14.51). Mean MUAC was 103±13.5 mm (95%CI: 101-105mm). Exclusive breast feeding was present in 82 (32%). Maternal illiteracy was common in SAM (p = was 0.001). More children (73.2%) were identified as SAM by MUAC of <115 mm as compared to WHZ of <-3SD (70%). The ROC curve analysis for MUAC (cut-off value:103, 95%CI; AUC: 101-107 mm) showed it as an excellent predictor (p=<0.001) for children having SAM and WHZ <-3SD, with (AUC= 0.786 [95%CI; 0.725-0.848]).

Conclusion: Both MUAC and WHZ showed fair degree of agreement to diagnose moderate and severe acute malnutrition among children aged 6–59 months. At the community level of resource limited countries, MUAC can be used as an appropriate rapid diagnostic method to identify malnourished children to be managed in nutritional rehabilitation programs.

How to cite this:
Bari A, Nazar M, Iftikhar A, Mehreen S. Comparison of Weight-for-Height Z-score and mid-upper arm circumference to diagnose moderate and severe acute malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(2):337-341.  doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.2.45

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published
2019-03-19
Section
Original Articles