Dietary magnesium may protect against cognitive decline in women

  • BMJ Open

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Postmenopausal women with a total magnesium intake between the estimated average requirement and recommended dietary allowances (257.3-317.8 mg/day) had reduced risks for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) alone and for the composite of MCI and probable dementia.

Why this matters

  • Attractiveness of lifestyle modification to reduce risk.

Key results

  • 11.8% of women developed MCI and/or probable dementia during >20 years of follow-up.
  • In multivariate analysis, compared with quintile 1 of magnesium intake, risk for MCI alone significantly lower for:
    • Quintile 3 (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.45-0.87).
    • Quintile 4 (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.46-0.97).
    • Quintile 5 (HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.39-0.96).
  • Risk for MCI/probable dementia significantly lower for quintile 3 (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.53-0.91).
  • No significant associations observed for probable dementia alone.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study of 6473 postmenopausal women aged 65-79 years without dementia (Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study).
  • Main outcomes: physician-adjudicated MCI and/or probable dementia.
  • Funding: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health; US Department of Health and Human Services; Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; National Institute on Aging.

Limitations

  • Magnesium intake assessed at baseline only.
  • Lack of information on serum levels.
  • Intake via standard multivitamins not assessed.
  • Residual confounding.
  • Unknown generalisability.

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