Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Rx Nutrition Resource Center

February 03, 2020
1 min read

Magnesium lowers coronary heart disease risk in postmenopausal women

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Higher magnesium intake was linked to a statistically significant risk reduction in fatal coronary heart disease and a risk reduction for sudden cardiac death among postmenopausal women, according to an analysis published in the Journal of Women’s Health.

“Our understanding of the etiology and risk factors for fatal coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death, particularly among women, is limited,” Jason Li, DO, MS, of the department of family medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and colleagues wrote.

The researchers examined the association between dietary magnesium intake and fatal CHD and SCD in a cohort of 153,569 postmenopausal women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative between 1993 and 1998.

After adjusting for confounders, Li and colleagues found for each 55-unit increase in magnesium intake, there was a risk reduction of 7% for fatal CHD (HR = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.89-0.97) and an 18% risk reduction for SCD (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.58-1.15).

In addition, an age-adjusted analysis broken into quartiles showed that women with the lowest magnesium intake (189 mg daily) had the greatest risk for fatal CHD (HR = 1.54; 95% CI 1.4-1.69) and SCD (HR = 1.7; 95% CI, 0.94-3.07). The association between magnesium and a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease was attenuated in the fully adjusted model, with an HR of 1.19 (95% CI, 1.06-1.34) for CHD and an HR of 1.24 (95% CI, 0.58-2.65) for SCD among women in the lowest quartile of magnesium intake.

Li and colleagues wrote that “future studies should confirm this association and consider dietary trials of foods rich in magnesium (eg, fruits and vegetables) and magnesium supplementation in the general or at-risk populations.”

Other sources of magnesium include legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and some brands of breakfast cereal and bottled water, according to the NIH. – by Janel Miller


Li J, et al. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2020;doi:10.1089/jwh.2019.7775.

NIH. Magnesium fact sheet for health professionals. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Jan. 22, 2020.

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.