Evaluación y aplicación de la medida en la circunferencia del brazo como prueba de tamizaje en el diagnóstico del estado nutricional de niños menores de cinco años

Martha Criales de Castro
1985 Revista de la Facultad de Medicina  
The arm circumference measurement is being used as an indicator of nutritional status specially in children because it is a simple and quick method, applicable through minimal, simple and easily transportable equipmento to establish its value as a screening instrument, it is necessary to evaluate it in relation to other criteria of classification accepted as true, like the relation of weight to age and weight to lenght, which is possible through the sensitivity-specificity analysis. When such
more » ... analysis was applied to a sample of 5.226 children from south Bogotá, the findings indicated that the arm circumference measurement for the age can be used as a screening instrument in rural area, where multiple circunstances teopardize with the utilization of more accurate criteria. As the sensitivity and the specificity of the test vary one with the other, to detennine the cut points of the arm circumference it is necessary to establish polvioushy the expected degree of accury when identifying the positive and negative subjects to the test, that is the malnourished, and normal children. When the sensitivity increases, a large number of healthy children will be marked as malnourished, which can increase the costs of a nutrition program. When the sensitivity decreases the malnourished children can be classified as normal, an for that reason be exc1uded fron a nutrition program, when they really need it. Only a critical measurement or cut point which offers the equal values of sensitivity and specificity can identify the equal proportion of normal and malnourished children.
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