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Increased magnesium intake linked to lower rate of dying over 4.8 year median period in men and women at risk of cardiovascular disease

Increased magnesium intake linked to lower rate of dying over 4.8 year median period in men and women at risk of cardiovascular disease

Tuesday, November 26, 2013. The Journal of Nutrition published an article ahead of print on November 20, 2013 that reported an association between greater magnesium intake and a lower risk of dying over a median period of 4.8 years among adults at risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study included 7,216 men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 years enrolled in the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) study, which compared the cardioprotective effects of two Mediterranean diets (one supplemented with nuts and one supplement with olive oil) with advice concerning a low-fat diet. Participants were limited to those with type 2 diabetes or three or more cardiovascular disease risk factors upon enrollment. Dietary questionnaires administered at the beginning of the study provided information concerning magnesium intake.

Over a median period of 4.8 years, 277 cardiovascular events (including heart attack and stroke) and 323 deaths occurred. Subjects whose magnesium intake was among the top one-third of participants had a 34% lower adjusted risk of dying over follow-up in comparison with those whose intake was among the lowest third. The adjusted risk of dying of cardiovascular disease was 59% lower and the risk of dying from cancer was 37% lower for those in the top-third of magnesium intake.

When the subjects were examined according to the diet they received in the PREDIMED study, a significant reduction in the risk of dying from any cause emerged among those in the control group who received low-fat diet advice and whose magnesium intake was highest. For cardiovascular mortality, a significant reduction was found among those in the top third of magnesium intake who were assigned to the nut-supplemented Mediterranean diet.

"Hypertension is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and it is known that magnesium can lower blood pressure," note authors Marta Guasch-Ferré and her colleagues in their discussion of the findings. "Also, magnesium intake may inhibit platelet aggregation, modulate inflammation, and improve endothelial function. All of these mechanisms can have a beneficial effect on lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and death."

"The findings from this prospective study suggest an inverse association between dietary magnesium intake and cardiovascular, cancer, and all-cause mortality," they conclude.

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Study reaffirms protective effects of seven factors against the risk of dying over 14 year period

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An article published online on March 16, 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a clear decline in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or from all causes over a 14 year average period in association with the presence of a greater number of mainly controllable health factors.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Atlanta analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 1988-1994, 1999-2004 and 2005-2010 for their research, which included a total of 44,959 participants. Survey responses and physical examinations provided information on the following cardiovascular health metrics: smoking status, physical activity level, body mass index, healthy diet intake, total serum cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose. Mortality data obtained through 2006 ascertained 2,673 deaths, including 1,085 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 576 ischemic heart disease deaths over a median follow-up period of 14.5 years.

Subjects were scored on optimal status for each of the seven health metrics, i.e., not smoking, being physically active and having healthy body mass index, diet, serum cholesterol, blood pressure and hemoglobin A1C (indicating desirable glucose levels). Less than 2 percent of all participants met all seven goals. Having two or more optimal factors was associated with a 27 percent lower adjusted risk of dying of cardiovascular disease compared to one or no factors, and this risk continued to decline in association with an increasing number of factors to reach a 76 percent reduction with the presence of six or more factors. Additionally, having six or more factors was associated with a 51 percent lower risk of dying of any cause.

"Our findings indicate that the presence of a greater number of cardiovascular health metrics was associated with a graded and significantly lower risk of total and cardiovascular disease mortality," the authors conclude.

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