Low Magnesium Ups Cardiovascular Death Risk

Study finds a 42% increased risk of death from coronary heart disease and 68% increased risk of sudden cardiac death.
Study finds a 42% increased risk of death from coronary heart disease and 68% increased risk of sudden cardiac death.

SAN DIEGO—Low serum magnesium is associated with an elevated risk of death from coronary heart disease (CHD) and sudden cardiac death (SCD), investigators concluded in a study presented at Kidney Week. High serum magnesium also is associated with an increased risk of SCD.

Brenda C.T. Kieboom, MD, and colleagues at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, examined the relationship between serum magnesium and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality among 9,820 participates in the population-based Rotterdam Study aged 45 years and older. During a median follow-up of 8.7 years, 780 CVD-related deaths occurred, including 431 from CHD and 217 SCD. Low serum magnesium (0.80 mmol/L or less) were associated with a 25% increased risk of CVD mortality, a 42% increased risk of CHD, and 68% increased risk of SCD. In addition, low serum magnesium was associated with increased intima media thickness, and this explained part of the effect of magnesium on CHD mortality, Dr. Kieboom's team reported. High serum magnesium (0.89 mmol/L or greater) was associated with a 50% increased risk of SCD, but A 36% decreased risk of death from CHD.

“Low serum magnesium is associated with an increased risk of death from CHD, which is partly explained by an effect on atherosclerosis,” the authors concluded in their study abstract. “Both low and high serum magnesium are associated with an increased risk of SCD. Although serum magnesium strongly affects heart rate, this did not explain the relationship between serum magnesium and SCD.”

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