The following article is part of conference coverage from Kidney Week 2018 in San Diego hosted by the American Society of Nephrology. Renal & Urology News staff will be reporting live on medical studies conducted by nephrologists and other specialists who are tops in their field in acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, dialysis, transplantation, and more. Check back for the latest news from Kidney Week 2018.

SAN DIEGO—Higher serum magnesium levels in patients 1 year after initiating hemodialysis (HD) predicts improved survival, data presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2018 meeting suggest.

In a retrospective study of 205 patients who initiated HD from March 2004 and May 2014 and who had a median follow-up of 6.1 years, Takayuki Fujii, MD, and colleagues at Seirei Sakura Citizen Hospital in Chiba, Japan, found that a magnesium level of 2.6 mg/dL or higher, compared with a lower level, at 1 year after HD initiation was associated with a significant 52% decreased risk of death from any cause in adjusted analyses. Magnesium levels of 2.6 mg/dL or higher at 2 and 3 years were associated with a significant 55% and 50% decreased risk.

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The investigators chose 2.6 mg/dL as the cut off because this was the median 3-year averaged magnesium level for the cohort.

The new study adds to a growing body of evidence showing that higher magnesium levels are associated with better survival. For example, a large study of HD patients by Eduardo Lacson Jr, MD, MPH, and colleagues published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases in 2015 found that the lowest serum magnesium levels (less than 1.30 mEq/L) were associated with a significant 63% increased risk of death at 1 year compared with a reference range of 1.60 mEq/L to a value less than 1.90 mEq/L.

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Fujii T, Saito K, Koshizaka J, et al. Serum magnesium value at 1 year after initiation of hemodialysis is a significant predictive factor of all-cause mortality. Presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2018 meet in San Diego, Oct. 23-28. Abstract TH-PO212.

Lacson E Jr, Wang W, Ma L, et al. Serum magnesium and mortality in hemodialysis patients in the United States: A cohort study. Am J Kidney Dis. 2015;66:1055-1066.