Serum Calcium Level In Geriatric Men, Comparative Studies

Project and Seminar Material for Biochemistry

Serum Calcium Level In Geriatric Men, Comparative Studies


Calcium is the most important mineral in the body. The body needs calcium for normal functioning of nerves and muscles including the most important muscles of all which is the heart. Calcium is also important for healthy bones and teeth. The amount of calcium in the blood is carefully controlled by the body’s hormonal systems.

The body gets calcium from diary products, some vegetables (such as broccoli), and some fortified foods. Calcium can also be obtained from taken pills containing calcium. Most of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and only small amount is found in the blood (serum). Calcium is maintained within a fairly narrow range from 8.5 to 10.5mg/dl (4.3 to 5.3meq/l or 2.2 to 2.7mmol/l).

The estimation of serum calcium level is fraught with possible errors. Several means of contamination might lead to false elevations of serum calcium concentration. Before the test is carried out, one does not need to fast or limit ones activity before the test. Rather certain medicine/drugs needed to be avoided before the test, because they might affect the test result. The result of the experiment can be calculated, since the differences in serum calcium is significance with the age differences. Those with the age bracket (50 years & above) have lesser serum calcium level than those in the range of 20 to 30 years.

Chapter One


Serum Calcium level in Geriatric men

Calcium is the most common mineral in the body and one of the most important elements. The body needs it to build and fix bones and teeth, help nerves work, make muscles squeeze together, help blood clot, and help the heart to work. Almost all of the calcium in the body is stored in the bone. The rest is found in the blood.

Normally the level of calcium in the blood is carefully controlled. When blood calcium levels get low (hypocalcemia), the bones release calcium to bring it back to a normal blood level. When blood calcium levels get high (hypercalcemia), the extra calcium is stored in the bones or passed out of the body in urine and stool.

The of serum calcium level appears to be associated with blood pressure and metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

1.1.0 The Amount of Calcium in the Body

The amount of calcium in the body depends on the amount of :

  1. Dietary Calcium.
  2. Calcium and vitamin D absorb by intestines.
  3. Phosphate in the body.
  4. Certain hormones including parathyroid hormone, calcitonin and estrogen in the body.

Vitamin D;  these hormones help control the amount of calcium in the body. They also control the amount of calcium absorbed from food and the amount passed from the body in urine and stool. The blood levels of phosphate are closely linked to calcium levels and they work in opposite ways: As blood calcium levels get high, phosphate levels get low, and the opposite is also true.

The aim and objective of this study is to:

  1. Determine the serum calcium levels in geriatric men aged 50 years and above.
  2. Compare the values obtained with age group 20 to 30 years.

Chapter Five

5.0.0: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1.0: Discussion:

The estimation of serum calcium level is quite an interesting activity especially with the people of different ages. On the attempt of carring out this test, some factors may lead to variation in result obtained. It may be due to laboratory differences in temperature, or even may depend on individual who may have lower calcium level (hypocalcaemia). Or elevated calcium level (hypercalcaemia). One may derive a corrected calcium level when the albumin is abnormal. This makes up the change in total calcium due to the change in albumin calcium, and it gives an estimate of what the calcium level would be if the albumin were within the normal ranges.
Corrected calcium level (mg/dl) = measured total calcium level (mg/dl) + 0.8 (4.0-serum albumin [g/dl], where 4.0 represents the average albumin level in g/l).

From the analysis and research carried out, it can be estimated that about 25mmol of calcium enters the body in a normal diet. It can be less than that if the diet is low in dairy products, or other calcium containing foods such as some kind of fish or calcium rich water, (Ballon, 2003). The calcium of leafy green vegetable is poorly absorbed, in all these, about 40% (10mmol) is absorbed in gut, and (5mol) leaves the body.

Calcium can also interact with other chemical and this interaction may occur in two ways, potential positive interaction and negative interaction.

5.2.0: Conclusion:

In all that have noted about serum calcium, those who lack vitamins especially vitamin D might also have a fall in serum calcium level. Vitamin D is an important co-factor in the intestinal absorption of calcium, as it increases the number of calcium binding proteins, (Dudin, et al, 1995).

From the analysis I carried out on the people who are advanced in age (50 and above) in Enugu State, they presented a slightly fall in their serum calcium level than those who are younger and within the age bracket of 20 to 30 years as represented on the table and graph above.

Finally, if the vitamin D level is not maintained, it can be concluded that serum calcium drops down as the age’s increases.

5.4.0: Recommendation

I hereby recommend that future research on this topic should concentrate more on the old people (50 years and above) because of the difficulty in convincing them to participate in the project.

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