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Anthropometric assessments in pregnant adolescents

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Merlyn Tapuwa Chapfunga

Nutrition Consultant

Normal user

7 Apr 2015, 20:35

1. Why should height be measured at each visit for pregnant adolescents?
2. What are the current MUAC cut off points for the diagnosis of undernutrition in pregnant adolescents?

Mark Myatt

Consultant Epideomiologist

Frequent user

8 Apr 2015, 09:15

(1) I have no idea why height should be measured at each visit for pregnant adolescents since we would not expect much linear growth in the pregnant adolescents (i.e. growth will be dominated by the pregnancy). We would also not expect height loss. Any height gain would probably indicate good nutritional status. Measuring height may be a hangover from when we thought BMI was useful in pregnancy. Are you sure you have not misread "weight"? Weight should be monitored. It is also common to measure fundal height (i.e. top of uterus to top of pubic bone) during pregnancy.

(2) There is a scientific consensus that low MUAC is a strong predictor of low birth weight (and other negative outcomes). Some studies report increased incidence of negative outcomes at MUAC < 260 mm. A recent review of evidence recommended using MUAC < 230 mm.

This issue has also been discussed in these threads on EN-NET:

http://www.en-net.org/question/215.aspx
http://www.en-net.org/question/261.aspx
http://www.en-net.org/question/348.aspx
http://www.en-net.org/question/1515.aspx

I hope this of some use.

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