The Prediction of Lean Body Mass and Fat Mass From Arm Anthropometry at Diagnosis in Children With Cancer
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Maintenance of adequate nutrition is important in the care of children with cancer. In clinical practice, determination of nutritional status can be accomplished with measurement of body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). However, DXA is seldom available in low-income countries where most children with cancer live. This study sought to provide predictive equations for lean body mass and fat mass, measured by DXA, on the basis of simple arm anthropometry providing measures of mid-upper arm circumference and triceps skin-fold thickness in a population (N=99) of children diagnosed with cancer. Such equations were derived successfully with the inclusion of absolute body weight, the body weight Z-score, and the predicted whole-body bone mineral content on the basis of age and sex. Attempted validation in a small sample (N=7) of children who completed therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia revealed disparities reflective of the prevalence of obesity in such survivors. Further validation must be undertaken in large samples of children with a variety of malignant diseases to assess the robustness of the equations predictive of body composition.
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