Assessment of Under Nutrition of Bangladeshi Adults Using Anthropometry: Can Body Mass Index Be Replaced by Mid-Upper-Arm-Circumference?

Assessment of Under Nutrition of Bangladeshi Adults Using Anthropometry: Can Body Mass Index Be Replaced by Mid-Upper-Arm-Circumference?

Body-mass-index (BMI) is widely accepted as an indicator of nutritional status in adults. Mid-upper-arm-circumference (MUAC) is another anthropometric-measure used primarily among children. The present study attempted to evaluate the use of MUAC as a simpler alternative to BMI cut-off <18.5 to detect adult undernutrition, and thus to suggest a suitable cut-off value.

Data shows strong significant positive correlation (linear) between MUAC and BMI, for males r = 0.81, (p<0.001) and for females r = 0.828, (p<0.001). MUAC cut-off<25.1 cm in males (AUC 0.930) and < 23.9 cm in females (AUC 0.930) were chosen separately based on highest corresponding Youden's index. These values best correspond with BMI cut-off for under nutrition (BMI < 18.5) in either gender.