Low serum magnesium levels following kidney transplantation is an independent risk factor for new-onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT), according to a new study.

In a retrospective cohort study of 948 non-diabetic kidney transplant recipients, a team led by S. Joseph Kim, MD, of the University of Toronto, found that each 0.1 mmol/L decrease in serum magnesium after transplantation was associated with a significant 24% increased risk of NODAT, after adjusting for recipient age, sex, race, body mass index, cause of end-stage renal disease, time on dialysis, and other potential confounders.

Hypomagnesemia, defined as a serum magnesium level below 0.74 mmol/L, was associated with a significant 58% increased risk of NODAT compared with normal magnesium levels, the investigators reported online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. In time-varying and rolling-average models, hypomagnesemia was associated with a significant 78%, and 83% increased risk.

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The researchers observed 182 NODAT events over 2,951 person-years of follow-up. The median time to NODAT was 0.6 years. The NODAT incidence rate was 6.2 per 100 person-years.