Serum magnesium is associated with the risk of dementia

Neurology. 2017 Oct 17;89(16):1716-1722. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004517. Epub 2017 Sep 20.


Objective: To determine if serum magnesium levels are associated with the risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease.

Methods: Within the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study, we measured serum magnesium levels in 9,569 participants, free from dementia at baseline (1997-2008). Participants were subsequently followed up for incident dementia, determined according to the DSM-III-R criteria, until January 1, 2015. We used Cox proportional hazard regression models to associate quintiles of serum magnesium with incident all-cause dementia. We used the third quintile as a reference group and adjusted for age, sex, Rotterdam Study cohort, educational level, cardiovascular risk factors, kidney function, comorbidities, other electrolytes, and diuretic use.

Results: Our study population had a mean age of 64.9 years and 56.6% were women. During a median follow-up of 7.8 years, 823 participants were diagnosed with all-cause dementia. Both low serum magnesium levels (≤0.79 mmol/L) and high serum magnesium levels (≥0.90 mmol/L) were associated with an increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio [HR] 1.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.69, and HR 1.30, 95% CI 1.02-1.67, respectively).

Conclusions: Both low and high serum magnesium levels are associated with an increased risk of all-cause dementia. Our results warrant replication in other population-based studies.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colorimetry
  • Comorbidity
  • Dementia / blood*
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors


  • Magnesium