Performance of alternative measures to body mass index in the assessment of moderate and severe under-nutrition among acutely unwell patients hospitalized in a TB ward in the Philippines: A cross-sectional study.

08:00 EDT 16th May 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Performance of alternative measures to body mass index in the assessment of moderate and severe under-nutrition among acutely unwell patients hospitalized in a TB ward in the Philippines: A cross-sectional study."

Body mass index (BMI) kg/m2 is a key screening tool for under-nutrition in adults, but difficult to obtain in immobile or unwell patients, particuarly in low resource settings, due to inability to accurately measure both weight and height. Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) is used to assess under-nutrition in children under 5 years but no standardised cut-off values exist for adults. In a cohort of adult Filipino patients admitted to a tuberculosis ward we assessed (i) cut-offs for MUAC to predict moderate under-nutrition (BMI <17kg/m2), (ii) the performance of limb lengths to predict height and; (iii) associations of body fat percentage from skinfolds and hand grip-strength with BMI. In 303 patients with MUAC and BMI at admission, aged 18-80 years (mean = 45.5,
14.8), BMI ranged from 11.2-30.6 kg/m2 and 141 (46.5%) had BMI <17.0 kg/m2. Using receiver operator curves, MUAC cut-offs were identified as <20.5cm for males (sensitivity: 89%, specificity: 84%) and <18.5cm for females (sensitivity: 91%, specificity: 89%), for BMI<17.0 kg/m2. Using published equations, knee height had the lowest mean difference between predicted and measured heights compared to ulnar or demi-span: (-0.98 cm, 95%
-1.51/-0.44). Both grip-strength and body fat percentage were positively associated with BMI, in separate linear regression models with exposure-age-sex interactions (adjusted-R-squared values: 0.15, 0.66, respectively). MUAC can predict moderate acute under-nutrition with high positive predictive value. Further research is required to determine the performance of alternative measures to BMI to predict mortality or adverse outcomes in acutely unwell patients.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Pages: e0215968


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

BODY MASS INDEX in children (ages 2-12) and in adolescents (ages 13-18) that is grossly above the recommended cut-off for a specific age and sex. For infants less than 2 years of age, obesity is determined based on standard weight-for-length percentile measures.

A state of insufficient flesh on the body usually defined as having a body weight less than skeletal and physical standards. Depending on age, sex, and genetic background, a BODY MASS INDEX of less than 18.5 is considered as underweight.

An indicator of body density as determined by the relationship of BODY WEIGHT to BODY HEIGHT. BMI=weight (kg)/height squared (m2). BMI correlates with body fat (ADIPOSE TISSUE). Their relationship varies with age and gender. For adults, BMI falls into these categories: below 18.5 (underweight); 18.5-24.9 (normal); 25.0-29.9 (overweight); 30.0 and above (obese). (National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

A status with BODY WEIGHT that is above certain standard of acceptable or desirable weight. In the scale of BODY MASS INDEX, overweight is defined as having a BMI of 25.0-29.9 kg/m2. Overweight may or may not be due to increases in body fat (ADIPOSE TISSUE), hence overweight does not equal "over fat".

A status with BODY WEIGHT that is grossly above the acceptable or desirable weight, usually due to accumulation of excess FATS in the body. The standards may vary with age, sex, genetic or cultural background. In the BODY MASS INDEX, a BMI greater than 30.0 kg/m2 is considered obese, and a BMI greater than 40.0 kg/m2 is considered morbidly obese (MORBID OBESITY).

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