Nutritional status of children with cystic fibrosis measured by total body potassium as a marker of body cell mass: Lack of sensitivity of anthropometric measures

McNaughton, S. A., Shepherd, R. W., Greer, R. G., Cleghorn, G. J., & Thomas, B. J. (2000) Nutritional status of children with cystic fibrosis measured by total body potassium as a marker of body cell mass: Lack of sensitivity of anthropometric measures. Journal of Pediatrics, 136(2), pp. 188-194.

View at publisher



To investigate measures aimed at defining the nutritional status of cystic fibrosis (CF) populations, this study compared standard anthropometric measurements and total body potassium (TBK) as indicators of malnutrition. Methods: Height, weight, and TBK measurements of 226 children with CF from Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, were analyzed. Z scores for height for age, weight for age, and weight for height were analyzed by means of the National Centre for Health Statistics reference. TBK was measured by means of whole body counting and compared with predicted TBK for age. Two criteria were evaluated with respect to malnutrition: (1) a z score < -2.0 and (2) a TBK for age <80% of predicted.


Males and females with CF had lower mean height-for-age and weight-for-age z scores than the National Centre for Health Statistics reference (P < .01), but mean weight-for-height z score was not significantly different. There were no significant gender differences. According to anthropometry, only 7.5% of this population were underweight and 7.6% were stunted. However, with TBK as an indicator of nutritional status, 29.9% of males and 22.0% of females were malnourished. Conclusion: There are large differences in the percentage of patients with CF identified as malnourished depending on whether anthropometry or body composition data are used as the nutritional indicator. At an individual level, weight-based indicators are not sensitive indicators of suboptimal nutritional status in CF, significantly underestimating the extent of malnutrition. Current recommendations in which anthropometry is used as the indicator of malnutrition in CF should be revised.

Impact and interest:

32 citations in Scopus
23 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 89609
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Cited By :28
Export Date: 1 September 2015
Correspondence Address: Shepherd, R.W.; Paediatrics/Child Health Department, University of Queensland, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia
Keywords: potassium, adolescent, adult, anthropometry, article, body composition, child, cystic fibrosis, female, human, infant, major clinical study, male, nutritional status, potassium blood level, priority journal, Body Height, Body Weight, Cross-Sectional Studies, Humans, Nutrition Disorders, Sensitivity and Specificity
DOI: 10.1016/S0022-3476(00)70100-4
ISSN: 0022-3476
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2000 by Mosby, Inc
Deposited On: 28 Oct 2015 02:10
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 04:01

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page