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Stroke. 1998 Feb;29(2):411-4.

Calcium and magnesium in drinking water and risk of death from cerebrovascular disease.

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School of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical College, Taiwan, Republic of China.



Many studies have demonstrated a negative association between mortality from cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases and water hardness. This report examines whether calcium and magnesium in drinking water are protective against cerebrovascular disease.


All eligible cerebrovascular deaths (17133 cases) of Taiwan residents from 1989 through 1993 were compared with deaths from other causes (17133 controls), and the levels of calcium and magnesium in drinking water of these residents were determined. Data on calcium and magnesium levels in drinking water throughout Taiwan were obtained from the Taiwan Water Supply Corporation. The control group consisted of people who died from other causes, and the controls were pair matched to the cases by sex, year of birth, and year of death.


The adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) were 0.75 (0.65 to 0.85) for the group with water magnesium levels between 7.4 and 13.4 mg/L and 0.60 (0.52 to 0.70) for the group with magnesium levels of 13.5 mg/L or more. After adjustment for magnesium levels in drinking water, there was no difference between the groups with different levels of calcium.


The results of the present study show that there is a significant protective effect of magnesium intake from drinking water on the risk of cerebrovascular disease. This is an important finding for the Taiwan water industry and human health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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