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Association between mid-upper arm circumference and body mass index in pregnant women to assess their nutritional status
Authors: Kumar Guru Mishra, Vikas Bhatia, Ranjeeta Nayak
Source: Journal of Family Medicine & Primary Care, Volume 9, issue 7, DOI:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_57_20
Topic(s): Body Mass Index (BMI)
Maternal health
Country: Asia
Published: JUL 2020
Abstract: Background: Underweight/ Undernourished is a state when the body mass index (BMI) falls below 18.5 kg/m2 and as per National Family and Health Survey-4, 22.9% of women in the reproductive age group fall into this category. Despite being considered as an important anthropometry marker, it is not measured in most of the healthcare facilities across India due to lack of basic amenities and resources. In such instances, how helpful other indicators like mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) can be to measure the undernourished status of pregnant needs to be determined. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of undernutrition in pregnant women (PW) based on baseline BMI and MUAC and to determine the association between them. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Tangi Block of Odisha among 440 PW (in the first trimester) from July 2018 to November 2018 using a pre-tested, validated questionnaire and anthropometric instruments. Results: PW having BMI <18.5 kg/m2 were found to be 16.6% and having MUAC <23.5 cm were 19.5%. A significant association was found between BMI and MUAC [aOR 7.91 (4.27-14.65)]. Also, a moderate correlation was established between the indicators (r = 0.57). Conclusion: MUAC can be used instead of BMI as it is easier to measure, cheaper, does not require any training or calculations, and insensitive to changes during the period of gestation unlike BMI. This can be beneficial to the healthcare workers at primary level who are in resource-limited settings.