Magnesium and cardiovascular complications of chronic kidney disease

Nat Rev Nephrol. 2015 Jul;11(7):432-42. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2015.74. Epub 2015 May 12.


Cardiovascular complications are the leading cause of death in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Abundant experimental evidence suggests a physiological role of magnesium in cardiovascular function, and clinical evidence suggests a role of the cation in cardiovascular disease in the general population. The role of magnesium in CKD-mineral and bone disorder, and in particular its impact on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with CKD, is however not well understood. Experimental studies have shown that magnesium inhibits vascular calcification, both by direct effects on the vessel wall and by indirect, systemic effects. Moreover, an increasing number of epidemiologic studies in patients with CKD have shown associations of serum magnesium levels with intermediate and hard outcomes, including vascular calcification, cardiovascular events and mortality. Intervention trials in these patients conducted to date have had small sample sizes and have been limited to the study of surrogate parameters, such as arterial stiffness, vascular calcification and atherosclerosis. Randomized controlled trials are clearly needed to determine the effects of magnesium supplementation on hard outcomes in patients with CKD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / physiology*
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*


  • Magnesium