African Health Sciences

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Evaluation of some anthropometric indices for the diagnosis of obesity in pregnancy in Nigeria: a cross-sectional study

CE Okereke, UB Anyaehie, CC Dim, EE Iyare, UI Nwagha


Background: Obesity in pregnancy is a global health problem which is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes. The use of weight and height, measured at about ten weeks of gestation, to produce pre-gestational body mass index is recommended for the diagnoses of the condition but limitations abound in under resourced settings.
Objectives: To measure anthropometric indices such as mid upper arm circumference, calf circumference, waist circumference and waist to hip ratio, for identification of obesity in pregnancy.
Methods:Anthropometric measurements were carried out on cohorts of pregnant women from 4 hospitals in Enugu, South-eastern Nigeria.
Results: There were no significant difference in the mean mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) and calf circumference (CC) across the trimester groups. The mean values of waist circumferences, hip circumference and waist to hip ratios changed significantly across the trimesters. The 75th percentile of MUAC (33 cm) and CC (39 cm) in all trimesters, had sensitivity and specificity of more than 70% for identifying obesity in pregnancy.
Conclusion: MUAC and CC values of 33cm and 39cm respectively might be reliable cut off points for diagnoses of obesity throughout pregnancy in Enugu, Nigeria

Keywords: Anthropometric indices, Body mass index, obesity, oregnancy, Nigeria

African Health Sciences 2013; 13(4): 1034 - 1040
AJOL African Journals Online