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Circulating magnesium is directly associated with cardiovascular health, meta-analysis shows


  • Systematic review and meta-analysis
  • 6 prospective studies; more than 313,000 participants
  • Circulating magnesium is directly associated with cardiovascular health


This systematic review and meta-analysis was designed to investigate the association between circulating and dietary magnesium and incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), ischemic heart disease (IHD) and fatal ischemic heart disease (IHD death).

All prospective studies (cohort, nested case-control) in the published literature through May 2012 that provided a multivariate-adjusted effect estimate with an accompanying measure of uncertainty for circulating or dietary magnesium and incident CVD, IHD, or IHD death were eligible for inclusion. Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria with a total of 313,041 individuals and 11,995 CVD, 7,534 IHD, and 2,686 fatal IHD events.

Circulating magnesium (per 0.2 mmol/L increment) was associated with a 30% lower risk of CVD (RR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.56, 0.88 per 0.2 mmol/L) and trends toward lower risks of IHD (RR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.75, 1.05) and fatal IHD (RR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.37, 1.00).

Dietary magnesium (per 200-mg/day increment) was not significantly associated with CVD (RR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.75, 1.05), but was associated with a 22% lower risk of IHD (RR: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.92). The association of dietary magnesium with fatal IHD was nonlinear (P<.001) with an inverse association observed up to a threshold of about 250 mg/day (RR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.62, 0.86), compared with lower intakes.

These findings suggest a potential role of magnesium in the prevention of CVD.


Del Gobbo LC, Imamura F, Wu JH, de Oliveira Otto MC, Chiuve SE, Mozaffarian D. Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;98(1):160-73. Review.

PMID: 23719551