Author(s): Chomtho S, Fewtrell MS, Jaffe A, Williams JE, Wells JC
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Abstract Arm anthropometry is used as a proxy of body composition in clinical and field research but its validity has not been established in children. To address this issue, mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and triceps skinfold thickness (TS) were measured in 110 healthy children aged 4.4-13.9 y (55 boys) and 49 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients aged 8.1-13.4 y (22 boys). Reference values were arm and whole-body fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry and four-component model, respectively. Arm fat area (AFA), MUAC, and TS correlated well with arm FM (r = 0.84-0.92) and total FM (r = 0.78-0.92). Arm muscle area (AMA) and MUAC correlated well with arm FFM (r = 0.68-0.82) and total FFM (r = 0.60-0.86). After adjusting for age, sex, and height, arm anthropometry correlated strongly with FM but weakly with FFM. AFA, MUAC, and TS explained 67, 63, and 61\% of variability in total FM in healthy children and 70, 72, and 63\% in CF. AMA and MUAC explained only 24 and 16\% of variability in total FFM in healthy children and 33 and 28\% in CF. Arm anthropometry is useful for predicting FM and ranking healthy children and patients for fatness. It has poorer success in predicting regional or total FFM.
This article was published in Pediatr Res
and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics