Low plasma magnesium concentration and future abdominal aortic calcifications in moderate chronic kidney disease

Anique D Ter Braake, Larissa P Govers, Mieke J Peeters, Arjan D van Zuilen, Jack F M Wetzels, Peter J Blankestijn, Joost G J Hoenderop, Jeroen H F de Baaij, Jan A J G van den Brand,

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Higher plasma magnesium concentrations are associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. The importance of plasma magnesium concentration for vascular calcification in earlier stages of CKD remains underexplored. This study investigated whether plasma magnesium is a determinant for the presence and severity of vascular calcification in moderate CKD.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis was performed using abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) scores in 280 patients with stage 3 and 4 CKD enrolled in the MASTERPLAN trial. Lateral abdominal X-ray was used to evaluate AAC. Plasma magnesium concentration were measured over time. A zero-inflated Poisson model determined the association between plasma magnesium concentration and AAC.

RESULTS: 79 out of 280 patients did not have AAC, and in patients with AAC the median calcification score was 3.5 (interquartile range: 0.0-8.6). The mean plasma magnesium concentration was 0.76 ± 0.10 mmol/L at baseline. A 0.1 mmol/L higher plasma magnesium concentration was associated with lower AAC of 0.07 point (95% CI -0.28 - 0.14). A 0.1 mmol/L higher plasma magnesium lowered the odds of detecting any AAC by 30% (OR = 0.63; 95% CI 0.29-1.37). After 1 year and 4 years (at time of X-ray) of follow-up this association was attenuated (OR = 0.93; 95% CI 0.61-1.43 and 0.93; 95% CI 0.60-1.45, respectively). None of these associations reached statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS: Plasma magnesium concentration at baseline is not associated with the risk for future AAC. Interventions increasing magnesium to avoid vascular calcification may have greatest potential in early CKD stages prior to onset of vascular calcification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021


  • Abdominal aortic calcification score
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Magnesium
  • Vascular calcification


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