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Which Anthropometric Indicators Identify a Pregnant Woman as Acutely Malnourished and Predict Adverse Birth Outcomes in the Humanitarian Context?

Author: Mija-tesse Ververs, Annick Antierens, Anita Sackl, Nelly Staderini, Valerie Captier
Year: 2013
Resource type: Research

 Which Anthropometric Indicators Identify a Pregnant Woman as Acutely Malnourished and Predict Adverse Birth Outcomes in the Humanitarian Context?

Abstract

Currently there is no consensus on how to identify pregnant women as acutely malnourished and when to enroll them in nutritional programmes. Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland undertook a literature review with the purpose of determining values of anthropometric indicators for acute malnutrition that are associated with adverse birth outcomes (such as low birth weight (LBW)), pre-term birth and intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR). A literature search in PUBMED was done covering 1 January 1995 to 12 September 2012 with the key terms maternal anthropometry and pregnancy. The review focused on the humanitarian context. Mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) was identified as the preferential indicator of choice because of its relatively strong association with LBW, narrow range of cut-off values, simplicity of measurement (important in humanitarian settings) and it does not require prior knowledge of gestational age. The MUAC values below which most adverse effects were identified were <22 and <23 cm. A conservative cut-off of <23 cm is recommended to include most pregnant women at risk of LBW for their infants in the African and Asian contexts.

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Mija-tesse Ververs, Annick Antierens, Anita Sackl, Nelly Staderini, Valerie Captier (2013). Which Anthropometric Indicators Identify a Pregnant Woman as Acutely Malnourished and Predict Adverse Birth Outcomes in the Humanitarian Context?. www.ennonline.net/antropometrypregnantwomen

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