Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 170, Issue 2, pp 264–270 | Cite as

Urinary Magnesium, Calcium, and Phosphorus to Creatinine Ratios of Healthy Elementary School Lebanese Children

  • Carla El Mallah
  • Hala Ghattas
  • Dareen Shatila
  • Sirine Francis
  • Karina Merhi
  • Sani Hlais
  • Imad Toufeili
  • Omar ObeidEmail author


Urinary magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), and phosphorus (P) excretions are known to vary greatly between populations due to dietary habits, physical activity, mineral content of water, climate, genetics, and race. Thus, it is essential to determine the normal values in each population in order to assess the status as well as to diagnose any possible abnormality of metabolisms especially hypercalciuria. A study was conducted to determine urinary Mg/creatinine (Cr), Ca/Cr, and P/Cr ratios of healthy Lebanese elementary schoolchildren. Using a multi-stage cluster sampling at district, school, and class levels, a sample of 1403 children (781 boys and 622 girls), from 26 different schools, was selected. Non-fasting morning urine samples and anthropometric data were collected and analyzed. The mean Mg/Cr, Ca/Cr, and P/Cr ratios were 0.122 ± 0.075 mg/mg (0.568 ± 0.348 mM/mM), 0.084 ± 0.101 mg/mg (0.237 ± 0.286 mM/mM), and 0.692 ± 0.417 mg/mg (2.527 ± 1.524 mM/mM), respectively, with no significant difference between boys and girls (P = 0.706, 0.161, and 0.604; respectively). The 95th percentile of Mg/Cr, Ca/Cr, and P/Cr ratios fluctuated with age, showing a sharp decrease in Ca/Cr and P/Cr at the age of 10. The mean Mg/Cr, Ca/Cr, and P/Cr ratios were comparable to those of similar age groups in other populations. The 95th percentiles of Mg/Cr, Ca/Cr, and P/Cr ratios were 0.26 mg/mg (1.23 mM/mM), 0.27 mg/mg (0.76 mM/mM), and 1.48 mg/mg (5.40 mM/mM), respectively. These values can be used as cutoffs to detect abnormalities in these three minerals’ metabolisms among healthy Lebanese children.


Urinary Mg/Cr ratio Ca/Cr ratio P/Cr ratio Reference values Children Lebanon 



This study was funded by the University Research Board (URB) that had no direct or indirect involvements in this project.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla El Mallah
    • 1
  • Hala Ghattas
    • 2
  • Dareen Shatila
    • 1
  • Sirine Francis
    • 1
  • Karina Merhi
    • 1
  • Sani Hlais
    • 3
  • Imad Toufeili
    • 1
  • Omar Obeid
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food SciencesAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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