Hypomagnesemia is associated with new-onset diabetes mellitus following heart transplantation

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Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality following heart transplantation (HT), with 21% and 35% of survivors being affected within 1 and 5 years following HT, respectively. Magnesium deficiency is common among HT patients treated with calcineurin inhibitors and is a known risk factor for DM in non-HT patients. We therefore investigated the association between serum Mg (s-Mg) levels and new-onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT). Methods: Between 2002 and 2017, 102 non-DM HT patients were assessed. In accordance with the mean value of all s-Mg levels recorded during the first year post-HT, patients were divided into high s-Mg (≥ 1.8 mg/dL) and low s-Mg (< 1.8 mg/dL) groups. The endpoint was NODAT, defined according to the diagnostic criteria of the American Diabetes Association. Results: Baseline clinical and demographic characteristics for the high (n = 45) and low s-Mg (n = 57) groups were similar. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that 15-year freedom from NODAT was significantly higher among patients with high vs low s-Mg (85% vs 46% log-rank test, p < 0.001). Consistently, multivariate analysis adjusted for age, gender, immunosuppression therapies, BMI and mean creatinine values in the first year post-HT, showed that low s-Mg was independently associated with a significant > 8-fold increased risk for NODAT (95% CI 2.15-32.63, p = 0.003). Stroke rate was significantly higher in patients with low s-Mg levels vs high s-Mg (14% vs 0, p = 0.025), as well as long term mortality (HR 2.6, 95% CI 1.02-6.77, p = 0.05). Conclusions: Low s-Mg level post-HT is an independent risk factor for NODAT in HT patients. The implications of interventions, focusing on preventing or correcting low s-Mg, for the risk of NODAT and for clinical outcomes should be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2019


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Heart transplantation
  • Serum magnesium


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