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Korean J Pediatr 2018 January;61(1) :6-11.
Published online 2018 January 15.       
Mid-upper-arm circumference as a screening measure for identifying children with elevated body mass index: a study for Pakistan
Muhammad Asif1, Muhammad Aslam2, Saima Altaf2
1Governmemnt Degree College, Qadir Pur Raan, Multan, Pakistan
2Department of Statistics, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
Corresponding Author: Muhammad Aslam ,Tel: +92-300-9550007, Fax: +92-61-9210087, Email:
Copyright © 2018 by The Korean Pediatric Society
Purpose: Mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) is considered an alternative screening method for obesity. The aims of this investigation were to examine the ability of MUAC to correctly identify children with elevated body mass index (BMI) and to determine the best MUAC cutoff point for identification of children with high BMI.
Methods: Anthropometric measurements (height, weight, and MUAC) from a cross-sectional sample of 7,921 Pakistani children aged 5–14 years were analyzed. Pearson correlation coefficients between MUAC and other anthropometric measurements were calculated. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to determine the optimal MUAC cutoff point for identifying children with high BMI.
Results: Among 7,921 children, the mean (standard deviation) age, BMI, and MUAC were 10.00 (2.86 years), 16.16 (2.66 kg/m2), and 17.73 (2.59 cm), respectively. The MUAC had a strong positive correlation with BMI. The optimal MUAC cutoff points indicating elevated BMI in boys ranged from 16.76 to 22.73, while the corresponding values in girls ranged from 16.38 to 20.57.
Conclusion: MUAC may be used as a simple indicator of overweight/obesity in children, with reasonable accuracy in clinical settings.
Keywords: Body mass index | Body weight | Child | Obesity | Public health
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