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Post a reply: Diagnosing Severe Acute Malnutrition using MUAC in under 6 months

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Infants under 6 months old are vulnerable to malnutrition……now a step forward to diagnosing them http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/recent.

In this recent publication, we took a step wise approach in investigating predictive and discriminatory value of common anthropometric measures (WFL, LAZ, WAZ & MUAC) to in-patient and post-discharge mortality among infants under 6 months. The paper focuses on answering 3 key questions;

- How best to identify malnutrition by anthropometric measures at a single time point in the under 6 months?
- What is the effect of age on the discriminatory value of anthropometry in under 6 months?
- What MUAC single cut-off could be applied for diagnosis and intervention among under 6 months?

We conclude that MUAC and WAZ are better predictors of mortality than WLZ and hence should be used to diagnose acute malnutrition. A MUAC criteria of <11.0cm was statistically optimal to target infants at the highest risk of death.

We hope you find the read useful and informative.

Martha

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