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Table 3 Sensitivity and specificity of MUAC125 and WHZ−2 to detect slim children

From: Inconsistent diagnosis of acute malnutrition by weight-for-height and mid-upper arm circumference: contributors in 16 cross-sectional surveys from South Sudan, the Philippines, Chad, and Bangladesh

   Total N Slim n WHZ−2 (n = 2 022) MUAC125 (n = 983)
Covariates     Sensitivity 95 % CI Specificity 95 % CI Sensitivity 95 % CI Specificity 95 % CI
Long legs Yes 4,309 847 84.2 75.9 92.5 82.9 73.7 92.1 32.2 26.4 38.0 96.8 90.2 100
No 6,079 536 68.3 63.9 72.8 95.2 90.2 100 32.0 28.0 36.1 97.5 92.9 100
Sex Male 5,020 720 73.4 67.4 79.3 93.6 86.9 100 25.9 20.9 30.9 99.2 93.7 100
Female 5,368 663 68.8 62.7 75.0 93.4 86.6 100 33.6 28.7 38.6 100 94.8 100
Age < 24 months Yes 3,754 664 75.0 69.9 80.2 95.0 89.2 100 57.4 51.1 63.7 87.7 80.6 94.8
No 6,634 719 65.8 59.1 72.5 94.1 86.9 100 18.1 14.0 22.1 97.6 93.1 100
Total   10,388 1,383 70.6 65.4 75.9 93.9 88.3 99.6 31.0 26.8 35.2 98.4 93.9 100
  1. Slimness was defined as a WAZ<−2 in children with no linear growth retardation, i.e. with HAZ≥−2. Adjusted sensitivity and specificity are derived from multivariate multi-level linear regression models, with “survey” as random effect. The regression coefficients represent the absolute % in the dependent variable (WHZ-2 or MUAC125) between the categories of the independent variable (slimness). Sensitivity is computed by summing the regression coefficient with the constant of the regression model. Specificity is computed by using the reciprocal of the dependent and independent variables in the model. All models were adjusted for all covariates. Interactions between covariates and slimness were tested all together through a chunk test. The chunk test was highly significant for both indicators, and all covariates had a modifying effect on the sensitivity and specificity