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Plasma concentrations of magnesium and risk of dementia: a general population study of 102 648 individuals

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BACKGROUND: Low and high concentrations of plasma magnesium are associated with increased risk of future all-cause dementia; however, the underlying reasons remain elusive. The magnesium ion is an important electrolyte serving as a cofactor in many enzymatic processes in the human organism. Magnesium affects both neuronal and vascular functions. We investigated the associations of plasma concentrations of magnesium associate with common subtypes of dementia as Alzheimer dementia and non-Alzheimer dementia, and potential pathways by which magnesium may affect risk of dementia.

METHODS: Plasma concentrations of magnesium were measured in 102 648 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study. Cox regression and natural effects mediation analyses evaluated associations with either Alzheimer dementia or non-Alzheimer dementia.

RESULTS: Multifactorially adjusted hazard ratios for non-Alzheimer dementia were 1.50(95% confidence interval (CI):1.21-1.87) for the lowest and 1.34(1.07-1.69) for the highest vs the fourth quintile (reference) of plasma magnesium concentrations. Diabetes, cumulated smoking, stroke, and systolic blood pressure mediated 10.4%(3.1-22.8%), 6.8%(1.2-14.0%), 1.3%(0.1-3.6%), and 1.0%(0.2-2.6%), respectively, in the lowest quintile, whereas stroke mediated 3.2%(0.4-11.9%) in the highest quintile. No associations were observed for Alzheimer dementia.

CONCLUSIONS: Low and high plasma magnesium concentrations were associated with high risk of vascular-related non-Alzheimer dementia, with the lowest risk observed at a concentration of 2.07 mg/dL (0.85 mmol/L). No association was observed for Alzheimer dementia. Mediation analysis suggested that diabetes may be in the causal pathway between low plasma magnesium concentrations and high risk of non-Alzheimer dementia, while cumulated smoking, stroke, and systolic blood pressure played minor mediating roles.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Chemistry
Volume67
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)899-911
Number of pages13
ISSN0009-9147
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

    Research areas

  • Alzheimer dementia, magnesium, mediation analysis, non-Alzheimer dementia

ID: 65861044