The relationship between dietary magnesium intake, stroke and its major risk factors, blood pressure and cholesterol, in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort

Lucy K M Bain, Phyo K Myint, Amy Jennings, Marleen A H Lentjes, Robert N Luben, Kay-Tee Khaw, Nick J Wareham, Ailsa A Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Dietary magnesium could modify the major stroke risk factors, high blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol, but has been understudied in both sexes in a single population. This study aimed to investigate if dietary magnesium intake was associated with BP, total cholesterol (TC) and incident stroke risk in an adult population.

METHODS: We conducted cross-sectional analyses in a case-cohort study of 4443, men and women aged 40-75, representative of 25,639 participants years of the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer)-Norfolk cohort. The cohort included 928 stroke cases (42,556.5person years). Dietary data from 7day food diaries were analysed using multivariate regression to assess associations between quintiles or data-derived categories of dietary magnesium intake and BP, TC and stroke risk, adjusted for relevant confounders.

RESULTS: We observed differences of -7mmHg systolic BP (P trend≤0.01) and -3.8mmHg diastolic BP (P trend=0.01) between extreme intakes of magnesium in men, a significant inverse association with TC was observed (P trend=0.02 men and 0.04 women). Compared to the bottom 10%, the top 30% of magnesium intake was associated with a 41% relative reduction in stroke risk (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.38-0.93) in men.

CONCLUSIONS: Lower dietary magnesium intake was associated with higher BP and stroke risk, which may have implications for primary prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Early online date31 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015



  • magnesium
  • stroke
  • hypertension
  • hypercholesterolemia

Cite this