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 Objectives: :As no previous study has evaluated copper and zinc status in adolescent Yemeni girls, the purpose of this study was to measure their serum levels of zinc and copper and to examine the relationship between the serum levels of these two trace minerals with age, and anthropometric parameters. Methods: The study was conducted in April 2007 in Alwehda district in the municipality of Sana’a, Yemen. One hundred and fourteen adolescent girls were selected using systematic stratified sampling from a representative school which was randomly selected. Anthropometric indices were measured and blood samples were collected for biochemical analysis. Results: The mean ±SD for copper, zinc, and copper/zinc ratio for the entire cohort were 17.47±3.31 μmol/L, 12.24±1.04 μmol/L, and 1.44±0.31, respectively. The prevalence of hypocuprimea was 4.4% and hypercuprimea was 2.6%. The levels of zinc were marginal in 96.5% of the girls and the prevalence of hypozincimea was 3.5%. The levels of copper were significantly higher (p = 0.007) and the levels of zinc were significantly lower (p = 0.003) in the 10-12 yrs girls than in other age groups. Height showed significant negative correlation with the levels of copper (p = 0.01) and significant positive correlation with the levels of zinc (p = 0.008). Conclusion:The results revealed that the Yemeni girls had marginal serum zinc levels, and 10-12 yrs girls had significantly lower zinc levels than other age groups. This provides a warning of consequent negative health effects since the physiological requirements for zinc are high in adolescence.


Copper Zinc Copper/zinc ratio Growth Adolescent girls Yemen.

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How to Cite
Jumaan, R. M. (2008). Serum Copper, Zinc and Copper/Zinc Ratio and their Relationship to Age and Growth Status in Yemeni Adolescent Girls. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 8(3), 291–299. Retrieved from