Validating mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) cut off points as an indicator of nutritional status among nine tribal populations of India

Authors

  • Gautam K. Kshatriya Department of Anthropology (Former Professor), University of Delhi, Delhi, India
  • Raja Chakraborty Department of Anthropology, Dinabandhu Mahavidyalaya, Bongaon, West Bengal, India
  • Nitish Mondal Department of Anthropology, Sikkim University, Gangtok, Sikkim, India
  • Kaushik Bose Department of Anthropology, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.2478/anre-2021-0018

Keywords:

MUAC, BMI, Indian tribes, ROC curve

Abstract

Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) is an alternative anthropometric measurement to assess undernutrition but a universally accepted cut-off is yet to be established. The objectives of the present study are to determine whether the proposed sex-specific global cut-offs are suitable across several tribes in India. This cross-sectional study was conducted among nine tribal populations in India (1046 males, 1087 females). Weight, height and MUAC values were obtained, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. The BMI cut-off (<18.5 kg/m2) was used to determine chronic energy deficiency (CED). The ROC Curve analyses of binomial logistic regression for MUAC versus CED revealed optimal cut-off point of MUAC as 23.8 cm (in males) and 21.8 cm (in females). MUAC cut-offs were similar in females, relative to males, in all tribes. Males with MUAC<24cm and females with MUAC<22 encompassed significantly higher numbers of CED than those with MUAC≥24 and ≥22 cm, respectively (χ2-value males: 254.9, p<0.001; females: 493.60, p<0.01). A single cut off point of MUAC may not be universally applicable for diverse populations and both sexes as well. It seemed that there is no alternative than to undertake further validation studies in various populations before using the MUAC cut off to identify undernourished or CED condition.

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Published

2021-09-30

How to Cite

Kshatriya, G. K., Chakraborty, R., Mondal, N., & Bose, K. (2021). Validating mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) cut off points as an indicator of nutritional status among nine tribal populations of India. Anthropological Review, 84(3), 301–315. https://doi.org/10.2478/anre-2021-0018

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