Background and aims: Magnesium plays a key role in glucose metabolism, vascular tone, and inflammation. Therefore, it might be a dietary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. In vitro and animal studies have suggested a decrease in vascular calcification with an increase in the magnesium intake. The objective of the present study was to investigate the association between magnesium intake and coronary artery calcium (CAC) score among participants of the ELSA-Brasil. Methods: This is an observational, cross-sectional study undertaken with a sub-sample from the ELSA-Brasil baseline data. In this sub-sample, only participants with CAC examination data were included (n = 4,306). Dietary intake was assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire. The association between magnesium intake and presence of CAC (0 versus > 0) was investigated using multiple logistic regression models. Results: The participants were predominantly female (54.4 %), with self-reported white skin color (59.1 %), no smoking habit (53.7 %) and undergraduate or postgraduate education (44.4 %). The range of magnesium consumption was 37.24 - 1266.31 mg/day. CAC prevalence was 28.4 %. No significant association was found between magnesium intake and CAC after adjustments for diet, lifestyle, and clinical characteristics. In a first univariate model, the fifth quintile of magnesium intake, in comparison to the first quintile (lowest intake), resulted in an OR = 1.25, 95 % CI: 1.01 - 1.54 (P-linear trend = 0.005). However, in the last fully adjusted model, the fifth quintile of magnesium intake resulted in OR = 0.86, 95 % CI: 0.64 - 1.17 (P-linear trend = 0.239). Conclusions: In ELSA-Brasil, the intake of magnesium was not associated with the presence of coronary artery calcification.
Keywords: Magnesium; coronary calcification; subclinical atherosclerosis.