Low dietary magnesium and overweight/obesity in a Mediterranean population: a detrimental synergy for the development of hypertension. The SUN Project
Hypertension is the strongest independent modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We aimed to investigate the association of magnesium intake with incident hypertension in a Mediterranean population, and the potential modification of this association by body mass index (BMI). We assessed 14,057 participants of the SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) prospective cohort (67.0% women) initially free of hypertension. At baseline, a validated 136-item food frequency questionnaire was administered. We used Cox models adjusted for multiple socio-demographic, anthropometric, and lifestyle factors, and prevalent conditions present at baseline. Among a mean 9.6 years of follow-up we observed 1406 incident cases of medically diagnosed hypertension. An inverse association in multivariable-adjusted models was observed for progressively higher magnesium intake up to 500 mg/d vs. intake < 200 mg/d, which was greater among those with a BMI > 27 kg/m(2). Lean participants with magnesium intake < 200 mg/d vs. >200 mg/d also had a higher risk of incident hypertension. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet did not modify these associations. In conclusion, dietary magnesium intake < 200 mg/d was independently associated with a higher risk of developing hypertension in a Mediterranean cohort, stronger for overweight/obese participants. Our results emphasize the importance of encouraging the consumption of magnesium-rich foods (vegetables, nuts, whole cereals, legumes) in order to prevent hypertension.