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Abstract online early

Feasibility and diagnostic accuracy of using Armband Mid-Upper Arm Circumference as simple screening tool for maternal wasting in rural India     [ Letter to the Editor ]

Submitted: 28 September 2016
Revised: 16 March 2017
Accepted: 9 May 2017

Author(s) : Sethi V, Parhi RN, Dar S, Agrawal S.


We recently tested the feasibility of armband Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC)<23cms as a simple screening tool for maternal nutritional status and itís diagnostic accuracy during a monthly Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND) in Bihar state, India, in January 2016. Using standard methods, weight, height and MUAC measurements were taken for 99 adolescent and adult women by trained health workers. Measurement time for armband MUAC, MUAC by non-stretchable tape and height by a stadiometer were compared. MUAC diagnostic accuracy was tested against BMI<18.5 kg/m2 as gold standard. We found armband MUAC to be a viable cost and time effective measurement tool for screening women at-risk of under nutrition in rural setting. Armband MUAC should thus be promoted to screen for nutritional status of women in low-resource settings to determine eligibility to provide nutrition support to them. Additional feasibility study in other similar settings and high level of advocacy is required to recognize armband MUAC as a cost and time effective screening tool for identifying women at-risk of under nutrition in India.

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