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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2000 May 12;60(1):17-26.

Calcium and magnesium in drinking water and risk of death from prostate cancer.

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School of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.


The possible association between the increased risk of prostate cancer and the levels of calcium and magnesium in drinking water from municipal supplies was investigated in a matched cancer case-control study in Taiwan. All eligible prostate-cancer deaths (682 cases) of Taiwan residents from 1987 through 1993 were compared with deaths from other causes (682 controls). The levels of calcium and magnesium in the drinking water of these residents were also determined. Data on calcium and magnesium levels in drinking water throughout Taiwan were obtained from the Taiwan Water Supply Corporation (TWSC). The control group consisted of people who died from other causes, and the controls were pair-matched to the cases by year of birth and death. The adjusted odds ratios for prostate cancer death for those with higher magnesium levels in their drinking water, as compared to the lowest tertile, were 0.73 (95% CI = 0.51-1.03) and 0.64 (95% CI = 0.43-0.96), respectively. The adjusted odd ratios for the relationship between calcium levels in drinking water and prostate cancer were not statistically significant. The results of the present study show that there may be a significant protective effect of magnesium intake from drinking water and other dietary sources against the risk of prostate cancer development.

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