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In the present study, we aimed to compare anthropometric indicators as predictors of mortality in a community-based setting.
We conducted a population-based longitudinal study nested in a cluster-randomized trial. We assessed weight, height and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) on children 12 months after the trial began and used the trial’s annual census and monitoring visits to assess mortality over 2 years.
Children aged 6–60 months during the study.
Of 1023 children included in the study at baseline, height-for-age Z-score, weight-for-age Z-score, weight-for-height Z-score and MUAC classified 777 (76·0 %), 630 (61·6 %), 131 (12·9 %) and eighty (7·8 %) children as moderately to severely malnourished, respectively. Over the 2-year study period, fifty-eight children (5·7 %) died. MUAC had the greatest AUC (0·68, 95 % CI 0·61, 0·75) and had the strongest association with mortality in this sample (hazard ratio = 2·21, 95 % CI 1·26, 3·89, P = 0·006).
MUAC appears to be a better predictor of mortality than other anthropometric indicators in this community-based, high-malnutrition setting in Niger.