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Low Serum Magnesium is Associated with Incident Dementia in the ARIC-NCS Cohort

Department of Epidemiology, Emory University School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3074;
Received: 24 September 2020 / Revised: 1 October 2020 / Accepted: 1 October 2020 / Published: 9 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microelements in Older People)
Higher serum magnesium is associated with lower risk of multiple morbidities, including diabetes, stroke, and atrial fibrillation, but its potential neuroprotective properties have also been gaining traction in cognitive function and decline research. We studied 12,040 participants presumed free of dementia in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Serum magnesium was measured in fasting blood samples collected in 1990–1992. Dementia status was ascertained through cognitive examinations in 2011–2013, 2016–2017, and 2018–2019, along with informant interviews and indicators of dementia-related hospitalization events and death. Participants’ cognitive functioning capabilities were assessed up to five times between 1990–1992 and 2018–2019. The cognitive function of participants who did not attend follow-up study visits was imputed to account for attrition. We identified 2519 cases of dementia over a median follow-up period of 24.2 years. The lowest quintile of serum magnesium was associated with a 24% higher rate of incident dementia compared to those in the highest quintile of magnesium (HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.07, 1.44). No relationship was found between serum magnesium and cognitive decline in any cognitive domain. Low midlife serum magnesium is associated with increased risk of incident dementia, but does not appear to impact rates of cognitive decline. View Full-Text
Keywords: dementia; cognitive decline; magnesium dementia; cognitive decline; magnesium
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alam, A.B.; Lutsey, P.L.; Gottesman, R.F.; Tin, A.; Alonso, A. Low Serum Magnesium is Associated with Incident Dementia in the ARIC-NCS Cohort. Nutrients 2020, 12, 3074.

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