Magnesium Prevents Death From Heart Attack

By Hans R. Larsen MSc ChE

LEICESTER, ENGLAND. Medical doctors at the Leicester Royal Infirmary report that the previously found reduction in mortality among heart attack patients injected with magnesium sulfate is long term in nature. The doctors’ original study involved 2316 randomly selected heart attack victims. Half of the patients were given 8 mmol of magnesium sulfate injected intravenously over five minutes within three hours or less of the first symptoms of the attack; this was followed by a total of 65 mmol of magnesium sulfate supplied by constant infusion over a 24-hour period. The placebo group received the same amount of saline solution. After 28 days, 24 per cent fewer patients in the magnesium group had died than in the placebo group. The doctors followed up on all the patients for an average of 2.7 years (1.0 – 5.5 years) and now report that the longer term mortality rate from ischaemic heart disease was reduced by 21 per cent and the all-cause mortality rate by 16 per cent in the magnesium-treated patients. The researchers point out that it is important that the magnesium be administered quickly (within three hours of onset of symptoms) and before the start of thrombolytic therapy.

Woods, Kent L. and Fletcher, Susan. Long-term outcome after intravenous magnesium sulphate in suspected acute myocardial infarction: the second Leicester Intravenous Magnesium Intervention Trial (LIMIT-2). The Lancet, Vol. 343, April 2, 1994, pp. 816-19

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