Evaluation of the Relationship Between Height and Zinc, Copper, Iron, Calcium, and Magnesium Levels in Healthy Young Children in Beijing, China

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2017 Apr;176(2):244-250. doi: 10.1007/s12011-016-0830-0. Epub 2016 Sep 5.


We evaluated the relationship between child (aged 6-36 months) height and blood zinc, copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium concentrations. We selected 840 children following a physical examination. Weight and supine length or standing height were measured according to the World Health Organization guidelines. Polarographic analysis was used to measure zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and calcium levels. Differences in heights between groups with low vs. high mineral concentrations, stratified by sex and age, were compared by analysis of variance. Relationships between these five elements and heights were tested by multiple regression analysis. Zinc levels in the shorter group (height for age (HAZ) ≤ -0.3) were 135.84 ± 39.76 and 134.83 ± 37.57 μmol/L in boys and girls, respectively. Zinc concentrations in the taller group (HAZ > -0.3) were 142.50 ± 35.85 and 140.52 ± 35.80 μmol/L in boys and girls, respectively. The difference between the two height groups in boys and girls was statistically significant. Compared with those (143.06 ± 33.76 μmol/L) in the taller group, zinc concentration (131.30 ± 40.75 μmol/L) in the shorter group was significantly lower (p = 0.04) at age 6-12 months. Height was positively correlated with zinc level in children aged 6-12 months (p < 0.05). Zinc levels were positively correlated with calcium, magnesium, and iron concentrations in children aged 6-36 months (p < 0.05). Our results indicated that zinc levels and height are correlated, and zinc levels were related to calcium, magnesium, copper, and iron concentrations. Therefore, to ensure healthy development in children, blood levels of these five elements should be balanced.

Keywords: Calcium; Child; Height; Mineral levels.

MeSH terms

  • Body Height*
  • Calcium / blood*
  • Child, Preschool
  • China
  • Copper / blood*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iron / blood*
  • Magnesium / blood*
  • Male
  • Zinc / blood*


  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Calcium