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MID-UPPER ARM CIRCUMFERENCE (MUAC) FOR DETECTING MALNUTRITION IN HOSPITALIZED ELDERLY

V.A. Leandro-Merhi, M. Nicastro, J.L. Braga de Aquino

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2013;2(2):231-235

Objective: This study investigated the relationship between mid-upper arm circumference and other nutritional assessment indicators to be used as a tool for the nutritional diagnosis of the elderly. Methods: Anthropometry was used for the nutritional assessment of 123 hospitalized elderly patients with subsequent investigation of the relationship between mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and the other indicators. The Mann-Whitney test was used for comparing the data and the Spearman’s linear correlation coefficient was used for assessing the association between the variables. The receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve was constructed for determining the cut-off. Results: A positive and significant correlation was found between MUAC and other indicators in the whole group and by gender, except between MUAC and waist-to-hip ratio. MUAC differed significantly from the other indicators, suggesting that MUAC can also be used as an indicator of malnutrition in this casuistic. For the construction of the ROC curve, the gold standard was risk estimated by body mass index since correlated best with MUAC. The ROC curve identified a cut-off point of 28.25 cm, with high sensitivity (87.10%) and high specificity (76.09%). Conclusion: The use of MUAC has practical implications for the nutritional assessment of hospitalized elderly, especially if a greater cut-off point is used for the population.

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