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Revista Cubana de Medicina Militar

Print version ISSN 0138-6557


INFANTE VELAZQUEZ, Mirtha et al. Variability of anthropometric indicators in cirrhotic patients. Rev Cub Med Mil [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.4, pp.341-351. ISSN 0138-6557.

Introduction: anthropometric measurements, being within reach of medical care, are used to assess the nutritional status of the cirrhotic patient. Objective: to describe changes in anthropometric indicators identifying patterns of malnutrition in cirrhotic patients in relation to their degree of involvement. Methods: a descriptive, cross-sectional study in 61 patients in whom anthropometric measurements were used to estimate body composition (fat and muscle) was conducted. We compared these parameters according to Child classification, presence of ascites, alcoholic cause, and age group. Results: the sample mean age was 56.59 ± 13.49 years, male gender predominated. The prevalence of malnutrition with anthropometric measurements ranged 24 to 49 %. There was higher percentage of muscle compartment involvement in females and this percentage decreased significantly in men with ascites (p= 0.001) and Child stage C (p= 0.006). The higher involvement of fat component occurred in men (36 %) according to percentage of body fat and 50.8 % according to percentage of triceps skinfold fat, particularly in those with ascites (p= 0.030). Conclusions: decreased fat compartment was identified by calculating the percentage of triceps skinfold, while the decreased muscle was evident by measuring arm circumference and triceps skinfold. These changes were associated with the presence of ascites and with high severity of underlying liver disease.

Keywords : cirrhosis; malnutrition; anthropometry.

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