Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bull World Health Organ. 1997;75(4):333-41.

The development of a MUAC-for-height reference, including a comparison to other nutritional status screening indicators.

Author information

1
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724, USA.

Abstract

Mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) based on a single cut-off value for all the children less than 5 years of age has been used for many years as an alternative nutritional status index for children during famines or refugee crises, and as an additional screening tool in nonemergencies. However, it has recently been questioned whether MUAC is age- and sex-independent. After reviewing the scientific evidence underlying the use and interpretation of MUAC, a WHO Expert Committee recommended a new MUAC-for-age reference for under-5-year-olds. In some settings, however, it is difficult to assess a child's age and in such circumstances MUAC-for-height may be a good alternative. The height-based QUAC stick is a simple means of adjusting MUAC cut-offs according to height, and the MUAC-for-height reference and the construction and use of the QUAC stick are described in this article. Described also is the use of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve method to evaluate the performance of MUAC, MUAC-for-age, and MUAC-for-height in screening malnourished children.

PIP:

It is often difficult to collect child height and weight measurements among refugee and famine-stricken populations. Mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) based upon a single cut-off value for all children younger than age 5 years has therefore been used for many years as a proxy nutritional status index for children in such situations, and as an additional screening tool in non-emergencies. It has recently been questioned whether MUAC is age- and sex-independent. After reviewing the scientific evidence on the use and interpretation of MUAC, a World Health Organization Expert Committee recommended a new MUAC-for-age reference for children under age 5 years. It is, however, sometimes difficult to assess a child's age. MUAC-for-height could be used in such circumstances. The height-based Quaker Arm Circumference (QUAC) measuring stick is a simple way of adjusting MUAC cut-offs according to height. The QUAC method measures the arm circumference at the mid-upper level and compares that value with the child's height. A standard QUAC stick is proposed which facilitates the comparison of data between countries. The MUAC-for-height reference and the construction and use of the QUAC stick are described. Also described is the use of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve method to evaluate the performance of MUAC, MUAC-for-age, and MUAC-for-height in screening malnourished children.

PMID:
9342892
PMCID:
PMC2486965
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center