Calcium intake and serum calcium status in Mongolian children.J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2014; 144 Pt A:167-71JS
Dietary calcium intake in relation to calcium status in Mongolian children was investigated. This survey was a cross-sectional survey. A total of 835 children were randomly selected from 4 economic regions and Ulaanbaatar city. Information on dietary intake was collected from 835 children in the 1-3, 4-7, and 8-14 year old groups by a 24-h recall method. The average daily intake of calcium from diet was calculated for individuals. Blood samples were collected from 104 children. The mean of daily calcium intakes as 273±30.0mg in 1-3-year old children, 309.0±30.0mg in 4-7 year old children, and 317.0±31.0mg in 8-14 year old children, respectively. There were statistically significant differences in calcium intakes between the age groups 1-3 years, 4-7 years, and 1-3 years, 8-14 years of children (p<0.001). Calcium intakes in all studied children of all age groups were lower (39%, 30.9%, and 24.4%) than the recommended level of calcium intakes. In 22.1% of studied children, the serum total calcium concentration levels were below the normal range. Based on the total serum calcium, the prevalence of hypocalcemia was higher among children in the age group 8-14 years (27.6%) than the prevalence among children in the age group <1 year (p<0.05). Based on the corrected serum calcium values, the prevalence of hypocalcemia was higher (52.4%, 63.6%, and 51.1%) among children in the age groups 1-3, 4-7, and 8-14 years. The mean level of corrected serum calcium were low (2.02±0.04, 2.05±0.73, and 1.99±0.64mg) in children in the age groups 1-3, 4-7, and 8-14 years. These findings suggest that low dietary calcium intakes may be reflected by hypocalcemia in Mongolian children. In conclusion, there is a need to improve a consumption of milk, dairy products in Mongolian children. In addition, there is need to use a vitamin D supplementation with a calcium supplementation in children with severe vitamin D deficiency rickets. This article is part of a Special issue entitled "16th Vitamin D Workshop".