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Blood Press Monit. 2004 Jun;9(3):123-31.

Estimating equations and tables for adult mid-arm circumference based on measured height and weight: data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) and NHANES 1999-2000.

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  • 1Division of Health Nutrition Examination Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland, USA.



Mid-arm circumference measurement is a prerequisite to selection of proper sized blood pressure (BP) cuffs and accurate BP readings. The purpose of this study was to develop practical prediction equations for estimating mid-arm circumference (AC) in adults using NHANES III & NHANES 1999-2000 data.


Both surveys used a complex sample design to obtain nationally representative samples of the USA civilian non-institutionalized population.


The analytic sample consisted of 5077 men and 5307 women from NHANES III and 2013 men and 2293 women from NHANES 1999-2000. Their height, weight, and mid-arm circumference were measured directly in both surveys.


Weight, height, and age data from NHANES III were used for model building, and similar data from NHANES 1999-2000 were used for validation. An all-possible regressions procedure by gender was used to derive the prediction equations for AC.


The final prediction equations for adult AC were as follows: for measured weight (wt) in kg and height (ht) in cm: Men, AC (cm)=31.76749+0.22626 x (wt) -0.10109 x (ht)+0.05092 x (age)-0.00081813 x (age), R=0.8; Women, AC (cm)=39.29946+0.26410 x (wt) -0.18230 x (ht) +0.01972 x (age)-0.00104 x (age) +0.00045901 x (wt x age) +0.00037509 x (ht x age), R=0.86. Tables of estimated arm circumference by age, weight and gender are presented.


The prediction equations and tables provide for mid AC estimation using readily available clinical data to select the appropriate BP cuff.

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