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close this bookAssessment of Nutritional Status in Emergency-Affected Populations - Adolescents (UNSSCN, 2000, 24 p.)
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View the documentSummary
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentBackground on anthropometry
close this folderCurrent WHO recommendations for adolescent anthropometry
View the documentDescription of WHO recommendations
View the documentApplication of the WHO recommendations
close this folderComplications of adolescent anthropometry
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View the documentChanges in body proportions with age
View the documentPubertal development
View the documentInterethnic differences in body size and shape
close this folderWhich anthropometric index?
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close this folderWeight-for-height measures
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View the documentTheoretical problems with indices using weight and height
View the documentPractical problems with indices using weight and height
close this folderMUAC
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View the documentTheoretical problems with the use of MUAC
View the documentPractical problems with the use of MUAC
close this folderPossible solutions for the future
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View the documentChanges in body proportions with age
View the documentPubertal development
View the documentInter-ethnic differences in genetic growth potential
View the documentUse of other data
View the documentFuture research needs
View the documentConclusions and recommendations
View the documentReferences
View the documentANNEX 1. Median and 70% of median weights for various heights, for males and female adolescents. Data from Michael Golden.
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Practical problems with the use of MUAC

Measurement error - in spite of the convenience and ease of measurement, MUAC measurement requires careful training and supervision in order to prevent wrapping the measuring tape too tightly or too loosely, which results in an erroneous estimate. One study estimated that the smallest change over time detectable in MUAC was 8-10%, when measurements were taken by different observers73. A second study demonstrated that MUAC measurements show more inter-observer variability than weight and height measurements 74.

MUAC should be measured at the mid-point of the upper arm between the shoulder (lateral end of the clavicle) and elbow (inferior tip of the olecranon). Although this not critical in young children who often have little muscle contour in the upper arm, it becomes increasingly important in post-pubertal adolescents who have developed adult musculature. Therefore workers will have to be carefully trained to measure adolescent MUACs.