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“Introduction to anthropometric indicators, including their interpretation and use for decision making”

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### “Introduction to anthropometric indicators, including their interpretation and use for decision making”

By

Dr. Golam Mothabbir, Advisor-Health & Nutrition, Save the Children

Training on Assessment of Nutritional Status 18-22 December 2011

Date : 19 December 2011,

Venue: FPMU Meeting Room

- The Training is organized by the National National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme (NFPCSP) . The NFPCSP is jointly implemented by the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU), Ministry of Food and Disaster Management and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the financial support of the EU and USAID.

Session Outline

- Basic concept of Children anthropometry along with type of anthropometric indices and assessment, interpretation and use of indices
- Importance of comparison of anthropometric data to reference standard and commonly used reference standards with cut off values
- Different forms of undernutrition
- Anthropometric data collection methods and data analysis
- CMAM country experience
- Use of anthropometry in nutritional assessment.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

INTRODUCTION : ANTHROPOMETY CHILDREN UNDER 5

- ANTHROPOMETRY is the measurement of the human body.
- Anthropometric measures are used to assess the nutritional status of individuals and population groups, and as eligibility criteria for nutrition support programs. Common anthropometric measures are
- Height,
- Weight and
- Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC)

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

INTRODUCTION: ANTHROPOMETRIC INDICES

- When body measurements are compared to a reference value, they are called nutrition indices
- Nutrition indices include
- height-for-age (HFA),
- weight-for-age (WFA),
- weight-for-height (WFH), and
- MUAC-for-age.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

INTRODUCTION: NUTRITION INDICATORS

- Nutrition indicators are an interpretation of nutrition indices based on cutoff points
- Nutrition indicators measure the clinical phenomena of malnutrition and are used for making a judgment or assessment
- a good nutrition indicators detects as many people at risk as possible (sensitivity) without including too many people who are not at risk (specificity)
- A good nutrition indicator should also be functionally meaningful (i.e. related to risk of morbidity and mortality), and be sensitive to change
- Standard cutoff points are used internationally to define undernutrition in children 6-59 months.
- The cutoff points for nutrition indicators are derived from the WHO child growth standard population (WHO standards) or NCHS reference population (NCHS population).

Note : cutoff points may vary according to the context, agency and guidelines

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: BUILDING BLOCKS OF ANTHROPOMETRY

The commonly used building blocks or measures used to undertake

anthropometric assessment are:

1) Sex

2) Age

3) Weight

4) Length or Height

5) Mid-upper-arm Circumference (MUAC)

- Each provides one piece of information
- When used together they can provide important information about a person’s nutritional status
- When > 2 of these variables are used together they are called an index
- These indices are commonly used: WA, HA & WH.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: AGE DETERMINATION

- Age determination is required for
- Sampling
- Deciding on whether the child is measured standing or reclining for height or length
- Converting height and weight into the standard indices

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: WEIGHT MEASUREMENT

- Body weight indicates combined mass of all body compartments (fat, fat-free mass, water, skeleton)
- Spring scales are the most common scale available
- Whatever equipment is chosen, staff needs training to ensure its proper use & care
- Regular validation of the weighting scale is very important.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: WEIGHT MEASUREMENT

- Salter Scale for weighing infants & young Children
- Can Measure up to 25 kg
- Accuracy 100 gm

Anthropometric indications measurement guide

FANTA, 2003

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: LENGTH/HEIGHT MEASUREMENT

- Length/height indicates linear growth
- A measuring board should be lightweight, durable and have few moving parts
- Length/height boards should be designed to measure children under 2 years of age lying down (recumbent) and older children standing up
- Several types of length and height boards are available
- Adequate training both in using the equipment and in providing appropriate information for the caregivers.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: LENGTH MEASUREMENT USING LENGTH BOARD

Children under 2 yrs

- <85 cm tall
- Too ill to stand
- Accuracy 0.1 cm

Measuring length requires experience & patience

Anthropometric indicators measurement

guide FANTA.2003

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: HEIGHT MEASUREMENT USING HEIGHT BOARD

- Children > 2 yrs
- > 85 cm tall
- Accuracy 0.1 cm

Length may be up to 0.5 cm more than corresponding height

Anthropometric indicators Measurement

guide FANTA, 2003

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: MUAC MEASUREMENT

- Is relatively easy to measure
- Use for rapid screening of acute malnutrition from the 6-59 months age range
- A good predictor of immediate risk of death
- MUAC is also recommended for assessing adult undernutrition and for estimating prevalence of undernutrition at the population level
- Color coded and or graduated MUAC tapes are available

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: MUAC MEASUREMENT

- 6 mo – 5 yrs
- < 12.5 cm acute malnutrition

Anthropometric indicators Measurement

guide FANTA, 2003

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: ODEMA ASSESSMENT

Bilateral pitting edema implies severe acute malnutrition if not proved otherwise

Classification of edema

Mild (+)

Feet only

Moderate (++)

Feet, lower legs, hands,

Lower arms

Severe (+++)

Generalized edema, including feet, legs, arms & face

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY:

Indices reflect about the nutritional status of infants & children

Weight for-age: - Low WFA identifies underweight, for a specific age & sex

- Reflects both past (chronic) &/or present (acute) undernutrition

- Unable to distinguish between the two

Height for-age: - Low HFA identifies past or chronic undernutrition (stunting)

- Stunting indicates reduced linear growth

- - Cannot measure short-term changes in malnutrition
- - For children <2 yrs of age, the term is length-for-age/LA

- For children > 2 yrs age, the index is referred as height-for-age/HA

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY:

Indices reflect about the nutritional status of infants & children

Weight for-height:

- Low WFH identifies current or acute undernutrition (wasting)
- Useful when exact age is difficult to determine
- - Weight for-length (< 2 yrs) or weight for-height (in > 2 yrs)
- Appropriate for examining short-term effects

Mid- Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC):

- Low MUAC (<12.5 cm) indicates acute malnutrition among children 6-59 months
- Is relatively easy to measure and a good predictor of immediate risk of death
- Is used for rapid screening of acute malnutrition

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: USE OF NUTRITION INDICES

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: USE OF NUTRITION INDICES

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: REFERENCES

- To standardize a child’s measurement to compare individual value with the median/mean of same age & sex
- Taking age & sex into consideration, difference in measurements can be expressed as:

- standard deviation (SD) or Z-score

- percentage of the median

- percentile (least useful in clinical practice)

[Z-score is preferable; percentage may be used ]

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: SD Score or Z-Score

- A SD score is also called a Z-score and is defined as the deviation of an observed individual value from the median value of the reference population.
- A Z-score is the number of standard deviations (SD) below or above the reference median value (WHO/UNICEF definition, 2009).
- The median is the middle value in a set of values. It is one type of ‘average’
- The Z-score or standard deviation unit (SD) is defined as the difference between the value for an individual and the median value of the reference population for the same age or height, divided by the standard deviation of the reference population. This can be written in equation form as:
- Z-score (or SD-score) = (observed value) – (median reference Value)
- standard deviation of reference population

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: SD Score or Z-Score

- Z-score can be used to indicate how far a child’s weight is from the median weight for that child’s height (the standard deviation or SD)
- The concept of a normal distribution is important for understanding what a Z-score is. In a normal distribution, most values are grouped around the middle, or “normal”
- A Z-score gives an image of how far a child is from “normal” or the median
- The weights of all boys or all girls of a certain height fall into a normal (or almost normal) distribution. When the weights are graphed, the result resembles a normal bell-shaped curve.

+

+

+

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: SD Score or Z-Score

- Z-scores are more commonly used by the international nutrition community because they offer two major advantages
- First , using Z-scores allow us to identify a fixed point in the distribution of different indices and across different ages
- The second major advantage of using Z-scores is that useful summary statistics can be calculated from them; mean and standard deviation to be calculated for the Z-scores for a group of children.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: REFERENCES

- The median is the value at exactly the midpoint between the largest and smallest. The percentage of the median is defined as the ratio of a measured or observed value in the individual to the median value of the reference data for the same age or height for the specific sex, expressed as a percentage. This can be written in equation form as:

Percent of median = observed valuex 100

median value of reference population

- The percentile is the rank position of an individual on a given reference distribution, stated in terms of what percentage of the group the individual equals or exceeds.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: SD Score or Z-Score

- A comparison of cutoffs for percent of median, percentile and Z-scores illustrates the following:

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: REFERENCE STANDARD

Bangladesh has adopted the new World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Reference Standard (GRS), Which should be used for determining the WHM and WHZ.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: TYPES OF UNDERNTURITION

- Undernutrition is defined as lack of nutrients caused by inadequate dietary intake and/or disease. It compasses a range of conditions, including
- Acute malnutrition
- Chronic malnutrition
- Underweight
- Micronutrient deficiency
- Undernutrition is defined based on anthropometric indicators, clinical signs and clinical tests.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: Different forms of undernutrition

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY : ACUTE MALNUTRITION

- Acute malnutrition caused by a decrease in food consumption and/or illness resulting in bilateral pitting oedema or sudden weight loss.

- It is defined by the presence of bilateral pitting oedema or by wasting

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

OVERVIEW OF METHODOLOGY: Types of Acute Malnutrition

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

Overview of Methodology : Reference Cutoff Values for SAM & MAM

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION

- Community level screening e.g. GMP
- Household visits
- Survey

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS

- Use computer software like e.g. Epi Info, ANTHRO, SPSS etc.
- Prevalence of malnutrition
- Recovery rate
- Death rate
- Defaulter rate
- Non-responder rate
- Average length of stay
- Average weight gain per kg/day

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY : WHO child growth standards and the identification of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children

Using weight-for-height

- WHO and UNICEF recommend the use of a cut-off for weight-for height of below -3 standard deviations (SD) of the WHO standards to identify infants and children as having SAM.
- The commonly used cut-off is the same cut-off for both the new 2006 WHO child growth standards (WHO standards) as with the earlier National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS reference). The reasons for the choice of this cut-off are as follows:
- Children below this cut-off have a highly elevated risk of death compared to those who are above;
- These children have a higher weight gain when receiving a therapeutic diet compared to other diets, which results in faster recovery;
- In a well-nourished population there are virtually no children below -3 SD (<1%).
- There are no known risks or negative effects associated with therapeutic feeding of these children applying recommended protocols and appropriate therapeutic foods.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY : WHO child growth standards and the identification of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children

- Using MUAC

- WHO standards for mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC)-for-age show that in a well nourished population there are very few children aged 6–60 months with a MUAC less than 115 mm. Children with a MUAC less than 115 mm have a highly elevated risk of death compared to those who are above.
- Thus it is recommended to increase the cut-off point from 110 to 115 mm to define SAM with MUAC.
- When using the WHO child growth standards to identify the severely malnourished among 6–60 month old children, the below -3SD cut-off for weight-for-height classifies two to four times as many children compared with the NCHS reference.
- The prevalence of SAM, i.e. numbers of children with SAM, based on weight-for height below -3 SD of the WHO standards and those based on a MUAC cut-off of 115 mm, are very similar.
- The shift from NCHS to WHO child growth standards or the adoption of the new cut-off for MUAC will therefore sharply increase case loads. This has programmatic implications.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

Examples : Save the Children CCM of SAM Study in Southern Bangladesh

- Identify children with SAM; measure MUAC and examine for edema in GMP session and during household visits

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

Examples : Save the Children CCM of SAM Study in Southern Bangladesh

- Treatment of SAM :
- Therapeutic Feeding (PlumpyNut)
- Presumptive antibiotic for SAM Children
- Counseling on feeding & caring practices
- Follow up with home-visits
- Refer to Upazila Health Complex: severe cases.

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Examples : Save the Children CCM of SAM Study in Southern Bangladesh

- Results:
- Total children (6-36 months) in study : 724

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Conclusion

- Advantages of anthropometry

Simple, safe, cheap, non-invasive, portable

requires minimal training

- Limitations of anthropometry

Cannot identify specific deficiencies, fairly slow to respond to recent changes in nutritional status

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

Conclusion

- USE OF ANTHROPOEMETRY
- Identify individuals & populations with normal & abnormal
- nutritional status
- Predict who will benefit from interventions
- Identify social & economic inequity
- Evaluate response to interventions.

Lecture X: Title of the Presentation -Name of Presenter

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