Background: In the face of the global pandemic that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created, readily available prognostic markers may be of great use. Objective: To evaluate the association between serum magnesium (sMg) levels on admission and clinical outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all patients admitted to a single tertiary center with a primary de novo diagnosis of COVID-19. Patients were followed for a mean of 10 ± 7 months. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were collected and compared between five groups of patients according to sMg quintiles on hospital admission. Results: The cohort included 1522 patients (58% male, 69 ± 17 years old). A low sMg level (1st quintile) was associated with higher rates of diabetes and steroid use, whereas a high sMg level (5th quintile) was associated with dyslipidemia, renal dysfunction, higher levels of inflammatory markers and stay in the intensive care unit. All-cause in-hospital and long-term mortality was higher in patients with both low and high sMg levels, compared with mid-range sMg levels (2nd, 3rd and 4th quintiles; 19% and 30% vs. 9.5%, 10.7% and 17.8% and 35% and 45.3% vs. 23%, 26.8% and 27.3% respectively; p < 0.001 for all). After adjusting for significant clinical parameters indicating severe disease and renal dysfunction, only low sMg state was independently associated with increased mortality (HR = 1.57, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Both low and high sMg levels were associated with increased mortality in a large cohort of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, after correction for renal dysfunction and disease severity, only low sMg maintained its prognostic ability.
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