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J Natl Med Assoc. 2003 April; 95(4): 257–262.
PMCID: PMC2594609

Magnesium deficiency in African-Americans: does it contribute to increased cardiovascular risk factors?


African-Americans are known to be disproportionately impacted by many chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular, and renal disease. Lower levels of dietary and serum magnesium have been associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Studies suggest a greater prevalence of occult magnesium deficiency among African-Americans compared to other populations. This increased prevalence of hypomagnesemia may contribute to increased insulin resistance leading to accelerated atherosclerosis and premature death. Trials that correct magnesium status/levels among African-Americans, whether through dietary intervention or direct magnesium replacement/supplementation need to be completed to characterize this relationship more completely.

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