Salud Pública de México

Bias correction of nutritional status estimates when reported age is used for calculating WHO indicators in children under five years of age

Amado D Quezada, Armando García-Guerra, Leticia Escobar


Objective.To assess the performance of a simple correction method for nutritional status estimates in children under five years of age when exact age is not available from the data. Materials and methods. The proposed method was ba- sed on the assumption of symmetry of age distributions within a given month of age and validated in a large population-based survey sample of Mexican preschool children. Results. The main distributional assumption was consistent with the data. All prevalence estimates derived from the correction method showed no statistically significant bias. In contrast, failing to correct attained age resulted in an underestimation of stunting in general and an overestimation of overweight or obesity among the youngest. Conclusions. The proposed method performed remarkably well in terms of bias correction of estimates and could be easily applied in situations in which either birth or interview dates are not available from the data.


Palabras clave

nutritional status; bias; data quality; age distribution; child, preschool

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Salud Pública de México es una publicación periódica electrónica, bimestral, publicada por el Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (con domicilio en Avenida Universidad núm. 655, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329-3000, página web,, con ISSN: 1606-7916 y Reserva de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo con número: 04-2012-071614550600-203, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Editor responsable: Carlos Oropeza Abúndez. Responsable de la versión electrónica: Subdirección de Comunicación Científica y Publicaciones, Avenida Universidad núm. 655, planta baja, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329 3000. Fecha de última modificación: 11 de abril de 2019. D.R. © por el sitio: Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública.

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