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Am J Clin Pathol. 1983 Mar;79(3):348-52.

A high prevalence of hypomagnesemia and hypermagnesemia in hospitalized patients.


The prevalence of hypomagnesemia and hypermagnesemia among hospitalized patients was studied by determining magnesium levels in 621 serum samples randomly selected from those submitted to the clinical chemistry laboratory for a biochemical test panel. The reference range for serum magnesium was established in this study as 1.2 to 1.9 mEq/L from measurements of serum magnesium on 341 healthy volunteers. Hypomagnesemia (less than 1.2 mEq/L) was present in 68 patients or 11.0%, and hypermagnesemia (greater than 1.9 mEq/L) occurred in 58 patients or 9.3%. The degree of association between hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia was assessed by measuring serum magnesium on a separate group of 61 patients with hypocalcemia (corrected calcium less than 8.6 mg/dL). Hypomagnesemia was present in 23.3% of patients hypocalcemic in the absence of renal failure; this proportion was higher significantly than the 11.0% who were hypomagnesemic in the hospitalized patient group (P less than 0.025).

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