Upper arm circumference is a measure used as a reference for nutritional status in situations of famine or refugee crisis in which height and weight are difficult to determine with determination. Likewise, it has also been used in normal situations as a complement to screening, thanks to its effectiveness in estimating infant mortality.
This measure has been used in 5-year-old children to detect states of malnutrition, the index of which was obtained in the 1960s by observing normal Polish children. In this FastlyHealarticle we explain what the mean upper arm circumference (MBR) is
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Middle brachial circumference (MBR)
Indicator of arm muscle loss based on the mean arm circumference at the midpoint between the end of the acromion of the scapula and the olecranon of the ulna.
The development of the upper arm circumference
The upper arm circumference is measured taking as a reference the midpoint of the proximal part of the arm, and has been used in situations of famine and refugee crisis, in which it is difficult to determine weight and height. Likewise, it has also been used as an additional screening instrument in normal situations, in order to estimate infant mortality.
The upper arm circumference was used during the last three decades in 5-year-old children, in order to determine if they were in a state of malnutrition (12.5 or 13.0 cm) of upper arm circumference). This limit was determined in the 1960s by observing well-nourished Polish children. However, at present it has been questioned whether the indices taken into account are appropriate, since they do not take into account age and sex. As a consequence, the World Health Organization has published the z-values for upper arm circumference, which take into account the age and sex of each child.
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