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      Low Prevalence of Hypercalciuria in Japanese Children

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          Background/Aim: There are several factors, such as race, age, sex, and geographical variations, associated with renal stone formation. Although it is known that the prevalence of urolithiasis in Japanese children is low, the reason remains obscure. We hypothesize that the low prevalence of urolithiasis is associated with the urinary calcium excretion. The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence of hypercalciuria in Japanese children. Methods: This investigation is a population-based school survey. A group of 529 healthy Japanese children was screened for hypercalciuria by measurement of the urinary Ca/Cr ratio using the morning fasting urine. In addition, the urinary Na/Cr ratio was also calculated for each subject. Results: Hypercalciuria regarded as an urinary Ca/Cr value of more than 0.17 was noted only in 3 out of 529 children (0.6 %), while most cases (494/529, 93.4%) demonstrated hypocalciuria (urinary Ca/Cr <0.05). The mean urinary Ca/Cr value was 0.024 in all subjects combined. Linear regression analysis revealed a positive direct correlation between urinary Ca/Cr and Na/Cr values (rs = 0.14, p < 0.01). The urinary Ca/Cr ratio was not related to age in either sex. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that the prevalence of hypercalciuria in Japanese children is low as compared with other countries, even though absorptive hypercalciuria and dietary hypercalciuria might be missed in this setting. This low prevalence of hypercalciuria may be associated with the lower prevalence of urolithiasis in Japanese children. As it is suggested that a low dietary intake of calcium and sodium may play some role in the low urinary calcium excretion, a randomized, controlled study comparing the efficacy of different modes of therapy, such as a low-calcium diet and/or a low-salt diet, might provide valuable information for the prevention of urolithiasis.

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          The relationship between urinary calcium, sodium, and potassium excretion and the role of potassium in treating idiopathic hypercalciuria.

          1) To evaluate the relationships between urinary sodium (UNa), potassium (UK), and calcium (UCa) excretion in the pediatric population; and 2) to determine the effect of increasing potassium intake in patients with idiopathic hypercalciuria and investigate whether this intervention can be offered as another mode of therapy in this patient population. Prospectively, we determined UNa, UK, UCa, and creatinine (Cr) concentrations in randomly collected urine samples from children on initial evaluation for urinary frequency, dysuria, hematuria, enuresis, or kidney stones to identify children with hypercalciuria. The outpatient renal clinic of an academic hospital. Twenty-three black children (13 girls and 10 boys) and 77 white children (44 girls and 33 boys) 3.92 to 16.67 years of age. Eleven children with hypercalciuria were given potassium supplementation or placed on a high-potassium diet for at least 2 weeks. UNa to UK, UNa to Cr, UK to Cr, and UCa to Cr ratios were calculated from measured levels of urinary minerals. These were repeated in 11 hypercalciuric patients after 2 weeks of increased potassium intake. A total of 100 urine samples were analyzed. The UCa/Cr ratio in blacks 0.04 +/- 0.06 (mean +/- standard deviation) was significantly lower than in whites 0.16 +/- 0.12. There were 21 hypercalciuric white children versus only 1 black child. Linear regression analysis revealed a positive direct correlation between UNa/Cr and UCa/Cr in all 100 subjects and in whites alone but not in blacks. An inverse relationship existed between UK/Cr and UCa/Cr in all subjects and in whites and showed a strong trend in blacks. A marked direct relationship was found between UNa/K and UCa/Cr in all subjects (r = .43) as well as in whites (r = .59) and blacks (r = .49). One black child and 10 white hypercalciuric children were treated with "extra" K for at least 2 weeks. The UNa/K decreased from 4.73 +/- 2.28 to 1.98 +/- 1.09, and the UCa/Cr decreased from 0. 31 +/- 0.10 to 0.14 +/- 0.07, with resolution or improvement of the patients' symptoms. In our patient population with urinary symptoms, the UCa/Cr ratio in black children is lower and hypercalciuria less common than in white children. In both white and black populations, the UNa/K ratio had the strongest association with the UCa/Cr ratio, indicating an opposing role of UNa and UK on the UCa/Cr ratio. Increased potassium intake was found to be beneficial for hypercalciuric children by decreasing the UNa/K ratio and, consequently, the UCa/Cr ratio.

            Author and article information

            S. Karger AG
            July 2002
            01 July 2002
            : 91
            : 3
            : 439-443
            Departments of aPediatrics and bClinical Pathology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, and cTokyo Health Service Association, Tokyo, Japan
            64284 Nephron 2002;91:439–443
            © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Figures: 1, Tables: 1, References: 18, Pages: 5
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