Is low magnesium concentration a risk factor for coronary heart disease? The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

Am Heart J. 1998 Sep;136(3):480-90. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8703(98)70224-8.


Background: Hypomagnesemia has been hypothesized to play a role in coronary heart disease (CHD), but few prospective epidemiologic studies have been conducted.

Methods and results: We examined the relation of serum and dietary magnesium with CHD incidence in a sample of middle-aged adults (n=13,922 free of baseline CHD) from 4 US communities. Over 4 to 7 years of follow-up, 223 men and 96 women had CHD develop. After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, waist/hip ratio, smoking, alcohol consumption, sports participation, use of diuretics, fibrinogen, total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and hormone replacement therapy, the relative risk of CHD across quartiles of serum magnesium was 1.00, 0.92, 0.48, and 0.44 (P for trend=0.009) among women and 1.00, 1.32, 0.95, and 0.73 (P for trend=0.07) among men. The adjusted relative risk of CHD for the highest versus the lowest quartile of dietary magnesium was 0.69 in men (95% confidence interval 0.45 to 1.05) and 1.32 in women (0.68 to 2.55).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that low magnesium concentration may contribute to the pathogenesis of coronary atherosclerosis or acute thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / ethnology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology*
  • Diet
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / blood*
  • Male
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Mississippi / epidemiology
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors


  • Magnesium