The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of magnesium levels on 3-year survival in the elderly with congestive heart failure (CHF) admitted to the Rehabilitative Cardiology Unit of S. Maugeri Foundation Scientific Institute of Telese/Campoli. All elderly patients ≥65 years old with a diagnosis of CHF underwent clinical and instrumental examination, and their demographics, co-morbidity, and in-hospital and 3-year mortality rates were recorded. Hypomagnesemia was found in 4.8%, normomagnesemia in 67.5%, and hypermagnesemia in 27.8% of subjects. The hypomagnesemic group was excluded for numerical exiguity; the analysis was performed on a total of 199 elderly patients. Hypermagnesemia was found in 29.1% and normomagnesemia in 70.9%. At the univariate analysis no differences were found in hypermagnesemia in respect to normomagnesemia group, except for slightly higher levels of creatininemia (1.35 ± 0.61 vs. 1.13 ± 0.55 mg/dL, respectively; p <0.02), greater disability (lost ADL, 2.69 ± 1.57 vs. 2.15 ± 1.56, respectively; p <0.05), more mortality for CHF (32.6 vs. 48.3%; p <0.05), and higher antacid and laxative use (82.7 vs. 24.8%, respectively; p <0.0001). Patients with higher magnesium showed less probability to survive at a 3-year follow-up than did patients with lower levels (17.32 ± 15.93 vs. 22.46 ± 16.16 months; p <0.05), and this finding remained significant in the multivariate analysis after adjusting for some confounders. Finally hypermagnesemia should also be considered in the absence of pre-existing renal failure clinical evidence because of its negative prognostic value, especially in elderly patients with CHF. The shown relationship between hypermagnesemia and laxative/antacid use should induce physicians to pay more attention to abuse of these drugs.
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