Magnesium in drinking water and death from acute myocardial infarction

Am J Epidemiol. 1996 Mar 1;143(5):456-62. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a008765.


The relation between death from acute myocardial infarction and the level of magnesium in drinking water was examined using mortality registers and a case-control design. The study area comprised 17 municipalities in the southern part of Sweden that have different magnesium levels in the drinking water. Cases were men in the area who had died of acute myocardial infarction between ages 50 and 69 years during the period 1982-1989 (n = 854). The controls were men of the same age in the same area who had died from cancer during the same time period (n = 989). In both groups, only men who consumed water supplied from municipal waterworks were included in the study. The subjects were divided into quartiles according to the drinking water levels of magnesium and calcium and the quotient between magnesium and calcium. The odds ratios for death from acute myocardial infarction in the groups were inversely related to the amount of magnesium in drinking water. For the group with the highest levels of magnesium in drinking water, the odds ratio adjusted for age and calcium level was 0.65 (95 percent confidence interval 0.50-0.84). There was no such relation for calcium. For the magnesium/calcium quotient, the odds ratio was lower only for the group with the highest quotient. These data suggest that magnesium in drinking water is a important protective factor for death from acute myocardial infarction among males.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Humans
  • Magnesium* / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality*
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Supply*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium