Stephanie Chiuve, from Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues studied data collected from 88,375 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study. During 26 years of follow-up, a total of 505 cases of sudden or arrhythmic death were documented, and subsequent analysis of the role of magnesium was performed from 99 cases of sudden cardiac death and 291 women who did not die. After adjusting for confounding factors, the researchers observed that the highest intakes and the highest blood level of magnesium were associated with significant decreases in the risk of sudden cardiac death, as compared with the lowest average intakes and blood levels. Specifically, the highest dietary intakes of the mineral were associated with a 37% reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death, and the team found that every 0.25 milligram per deciliter increase in blood levels of magnesium associated with a 41% reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death. Writing that: “In this prospective cohort of women, higher plasma concentrations and dietary magnesium intakes were associated with lower risks of [sudden cardiac death],” the researchers conclude that: “If the observed association is causal, interventions directed at increasing dietary or plasma magnesium might lower the risk of [sudden cardiac death].”
Stephanie E Chiuve, Ethan C Korngold, James L Januzzi, Jr, Mary Lou Gantzer, Christine M Albert. “Plasma and dietary magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in women.” Am J Clin Nutr 2010 ajcn.002253, November 24, 2010; doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.002253.
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