The relationship between dietary magnesium intake, stroke and its major risk factors, blood pressure and cholesterol, in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort

Int J Cardiol. 2015 Oct 1;196:108-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.05.166. Epub 2015 May 31.


Background: Dietary magnesium could modify the major stroke risk factors, high blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol, but has been understudied in both sexes in a single population. This study aimed to investigate if dietary magnesium intake was associated with BP, total cholesterol (TC) and incident stroke risk in an adult population.

Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analyses in a case-cohort study of 4443, men and women aged 40-75, representative of 25,639 participants years of the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer)-Norfolk cohort. The cohort included 928 stroke cases (42,556.5 person years). Dietary data from 7 day food diaries were analysed using multivariate regression to assess associations between quintiles or data-derived categories of dietary magnesium intake and BP, TC and stroke risk, adjusted for relevant confounders.

Results: We observed differences of -7 mmHg systolic BP (P trend ≤ 0.01) and -3.8 mmHg diastolic BP (P trend=0.01) between extreme intakes of magnesium in men, a significant inverse association with TC was observed (P trend=0.02 men and 0.04 women). Compared to the bottom 10%, the top 30% of magnesium intake was associated with a 41% relative reduction in stroke risk (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.38-0.93) in men.

Conclusions: Lower dietary magnesium intake was associated with higher BP and stroke risk, which may have implications for primary prevention.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Dietary magnesium; Stroke; Total cholesterol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / prevention & control*


  • Cholesterol
  • Magnesium