Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Objectives : To analyse the correlation between shape variables and anthropometric variables in children aged 6-59 months for assessing acute malnutrition using geometric morphometrics.
Methods : A sample of 411 Senegalese malnourished (n = 148), well-nourished (n=156) and Spanish well-nourished (n = 107) children aged 6-59 months was studied regarding WHO considerations. Anthropometrical measurements of weight, height, middle-upper arm circumference (MUAC), head circumference and sitting height were used to assess the nutritional status. Weight for height and MUAC z-scores were calculated. A set of 36 anatomical and/or osteologically-based landmarks were identified on the body of the children along with 108 semi-landmarks used to capture the body contour on the frontal view of the body image. Shape differences among children were analysed and visualised considering the continuous distribution of the anthropometrical variables by means of Geometric Morphometric techniques. Regression analyses were carried out to assess the correlation between shape and anthropometrical variables. The effect of age and sex variations was also explored using multivariate analysis.
Results : Significant differences on height (F=86,29; p< 0.01), weight (F=13,80; p< 0.01), MUAC (F=53,45; p< 0.01), head circumference (F=59,79; p< 0,01) and sitting height (F=748,81; p< 0,01) were found between the three groups of children analysed. In the Spanish population statistical significant differences were described for weight and height between children under and over 24 months while in the Senegalese sample, all anthropometric variables exhibited significant differences (p< 0,01). The first two Principal Components showed the morphometrical variability of children shape along the anthropometrical variables. Age and sex effect showed also significant different patterns in both shape and morphometrical variables (p< 0.01).
Conclusions : Weight for height and MUAC for age z-scores are well descriptors of shape differences among children. GM techniques are useful to study morphometrical changes in the anterior body view of children aged 6-59 months when different factors are analysed. In our study, all of the anthropometric values contributed to explain children’s entire body shape in anterior view. The subdivision of children into age groups under and over two years old is important to visualize the differences achieved due to the effect of the various analysed.
Funding Sources : Children's Investment Fund Foundation