Validity of Middle Upper Arm Circumference as an Indicator of Nutritional Status in Patients with Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy

Marynda Rahmadianisya1), Chodidjah2), Minidian Fasitasari3)


1)Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Islam Sultan Agung

2)Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Islam Sultan Agung

3)Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Islam Sultan Agung/

Sultan Agung Islamic Hospital, Semarang



Background: Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) is the circumference of the left upper arm, measured at the middle point between the tip of the shoul­der and the tip of the elbow (olecranon process and the acromium). MUAC is used for the assessment of nutritional status. It is a good predictor of mortality and in many studies, MUAC predicted death in children better than any other anth­ro­­­pometric indicator. This study aimed to validity of middle-upper arm cir­cum­­­ference as an indicator of nutritional status in patients with cancer under­going chemotherapy.

Subjects and Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Sultan Agung Is­lamic hospital, Semarang, Central Java. A sample of 52 cancer patients un­der­going chemotherapy was selected for this study. The independent variable was body mass index (BMI) served as the gold standard. The dependent variable was mid­dle upper arm circumference (MUAC). Both indicators were measured by an­thro­pometric measurement. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated to indicate va­lidity. BMI and MUAC scores were analyzed by Pearson correlation.

Results: MUAC had a strong and positive correlation with BMI (r= 0.76; p<0.001). In comparison with BMI, MUAC showed high sensitivity (94.7%) and mo­de­­rate specificity (75.8%).

Conclusion: MUAC is strongly correlated with BMI with high sensitivity and moderate specificity. It can be used as an indicator of nutritional status in cancer pa­tients undergoing chemotherapy.

Keywords: middle upper arm circumference, body mass index, nutritional sta­tus, cancer

Correspondence: Minidian Fasitasari. Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Islam Sultan Agung, Jl. Raya Kaligawe KM 4, Semarang, Central Java. Email: Mobile: (024) 6583584. Fax: (024) 6594366.


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