Magnesium and deaths ascribed to ischaemic heart disease in South Africa. A preliminary report

S Afr Med J. 1983 Nov 5;64(20):775-6.


The incidence of death from ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and acute cardiac arrhythmias is increased in some regions where magnesium levels are reduced in soil and water. Magnesium levels in the drinking water of twelve South African magisterial districts have been evaluated together with corrected statistics for deaths apparently due to IHD in White males from the same districts. A significant negative correlation was found between the incidence of deaths ascribed to IHD and the magnesium content of drinking water. Future, prospective, multivariate studies are required to elucidate whether magnesium scarcity in a geological environment is a major coronary risk factor.

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease / mortality*
  • Fresh Water / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / analysis*
  • Male
  • South Africa
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Water / analysis*


  • Water
  • Magnesium