Mid-arm circumference and mid-arm/head circumference ratios: standard curves for anthropometric assessment of neonatal nutritional status

J Pediatr. 1986 Aug;109(2):311-5. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(86)80393-6.


Two hundred four neonates, 25 to 42 weeks estimated gestational age (EGA), were measured on day 2 or 3 of life for upper mid-arm circumference (MAC) and head circumference. Regression analysis was used to construct standard curves for MAC versus EGA and mid-arm circumference/head circumference ratio (MAC/HC) versus EGA. Correlation coefficients were 0.93 for MAC versus EGA, and 0.84 for MAC/HC versus EGA. MAC, MAC/HC, and head circumference were also highly correlated with birth weight. These measurements may more accurately assess intrauterine growth and body proportionality at birth than weight, length, and head circumference.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Arm / anatomy & histology*
  • Birth Weight*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / diagnosis*
  • Gestational Age
  • Head / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis