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Dietary magnesium intake and blood pressure: a qualitative overview of the observational studies


Published reports of 30 separate sets of analyses from 29 observational studies relating dietary intake of magnesium to blood pressure (BP) were identified through a comprehensive search using MEDLINE and BIDS-EMBASE. Three studies were prospective, 24 cross- sectional (25 reports), of which four also contained a longitudinal component, and two were obtained from baseline data in a trial. Various dietary methodologies were used: 24-h dietary recall (n = 12), food-frequency questionnaire (8), food record (7), and duplicate diet (2). Twelve reports compared magnesium intake or BP level between subgroups. Seven showed a negative association between magnesium intake and BP level, and five reported no association. From 18 of the 30 sets of analyses either a regression estimate or a Pearson correlation coefficient was reported. Many reports also allowed identification of subgroups by sex, age and race. Ninety population samples and subgroups could thus be identified from the 30 reports. All 11 Pearson-r correlation coefficients reported for systolic BP (SBP) (three significant, P < 0.05) and 10 (out of 12) pearson-r correlation coefficients reported for diastolic BP (DBP) (four significant) were negative. Seven reports (13 subgroups for SBP, 11 subgroups for DBP) gave partial regression coefficients after adjustment; 10 (seven significant) and eight (six significant) were negative for SBP and DBP, respectively. For 13 subgroups in five papers, Pearson-r correlation coefficients were reported after adjustment for confounding factors. Eight (out of 13) showed a negative relationship for SBP and DBP. This review points to a negative association between dietary magnesium intake and BP. A systematic quantitative overview is needed to reconcile the inconsistencies of the results of individual studies and to quantify the size of such relationship.

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Correspondence to S Mizushima.

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Mizushima, S., Cappuccio, F., Nichols, R. et al. Dietary magnesium intake and blood pressure: a qualitative overview of the observational studies. J Hum Hypertens 12, 447–453 (1998).

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  • blood pressure
  • magnesium
  • observational study
  • review

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