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Magnesium supplementation to prevent high blood pressure in pregnancy: a randomised placebo control trial



To assess if hypertension during the last part of pregnancy could be prevented by magnesium supplementation.


Pregnant primagravida women from a local antenatal care unit were given an oral supply of 300 mg magnesium as citrate or placebo from pregnancy week 25 in a randomised double-blind setup. Blood pressure was recorded during pregnancy as well as pregnancy outcome.


In the magnesium-supplemented group, the average diastolic blood pressure at week 37 was significantly lower than in the placebo group (72/1.4 mean/SEM vs 77/1.4, p = 0.031). The number of women with an increase in diastolic blood pressure of ≥15 mmHg was significantly lower in the magnesium group compared with the women who received placebo (p = 0.011). There was an inverse relation between the urinary excretion of magnesium during pregnancy and the diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.005).


Magnesium supplementation prevented an increase in diastolic blood pressure during the last weeks of pregnancy. The relation between diastolic blood pressure and urinary excretion of magnesium suggests that magnesium is involved in the regulation of blood pressure and that the increase in diastolic blood pressure in pregnancy could be due to a lack of magnesium.

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The study was supported by grants from the Research and Development Foundation at Södra Älvsborg, Alice Swenzon’s Foundation, Swedbank Sjuhärad Research Foundation, Sweden, and Protina GmbH, Ismaning, Germany.

Ethical Standard

Ethical committee approval was obtained (ECG T 515-10, 098-09, Ethical Committee, Gothenburg University 8 April 2009) as well as permission to register according to Swedish law on personal information. Informed consent was obtained from all participants. Registration at ISRCTN98365455.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest. Dr Vormann is a scientific consultant to Protina GmbH.

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Correspondence to Ragnar Rylander.

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Trial registration number: ISRCTN 98365455.

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Bullarbo, M., Ödman, N., Nestler, A. et al. Magnesium supplementation to prevent high blood pressure in pregnancy: a randomised placebo control trial. Arch Gynecol Obstet 288, 1269–1274 (2013).

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  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Magnesium
  • Prevention