Correlation of Magnesium Intake With Metabolic Parameters, Depression and Physical Activity in Elderly Type 2 Diabetes Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Nutr J. 2012 Jun 13;11:41. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-41.


Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a major global public health problem in the worldwide and is increasing in aging populations. Magnesium intake may be one of the most important factors for diabetes prevention and management. Low magnesium intake may exacerbate metabolic abnormalities. In this study, the relationships of magnesium intake with metabolic parameters, depression and physical activity in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes were investigated.

Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 210 type 2 diabetes patients aged 65 years and above. Participants were interviewed to obtain information on lifestyle and 24-hour dietary recall. Assessment of depression was based on DSM-IV criteria. Clinical variables measured included anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, and biochemical determinations of blood and urine samples. Linear regression was applied to determine the relationships of magnesium intake with nutritional variables and metabolic parameters.

Results: Among all patients, 88.6% had magnesium intake which was less than the dietary reference intake, and 37.1% had hypomagnesaemia. Metabolic syndromes and depression were associated with lower magnesium intake (p < 0.05). A positive relationship was found between magnesium intake and HDL-cholesterol (p = 0.005). Magnesium intake was inversely correlated with triglyceride, waist circumference, body fat percent and body mass index (p < 0.005). After controlling confounding factor, HDL-cholesterol was significantly higher with increasing quartile of magnesium intake (p for trend = 0005). Waist circumference, body fat percentage, and body mass index were significantly lower with increase quartile of magnesium intake (p for trend < 0.001). The odds of depression, central obesity, high body fat percentage, and high body mass index were significantly lower with increasing quartile of magnesium intake (p for trend < 0.05). In addition, magnesium intake was related to high physical activity level and demonstrated lower serum magnesium levels. Serum magnesium was not significantly associated with metabolic parameters.

Conclusions: The majority of elderly type 2 diabetes who have low magnesium intake may compound this deficiency with metabolic abnormalities and depression. Future studies should determine the effects of increased magnesium intake or magnesium supplementation on metabolic control and depression in elderly people with type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage*
  • Magnesium / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist Circumference


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Magnesium