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Association Between Serum Magnesium and the Prevalence of Kidney Stones: a Cross-sectional Study

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Kidney stones, a painful and costly disease, have become a public health problem worldwide. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between serum magnesium levels and the prevalence of kidney stones in a large population context. This study was conducted in Xiangya Hospital, Central South University in Changsha, Hunan, China, between October 2013 and December 2015. A total of 6228 subjects aged ≥ 18 years old were included. Kidney stones were diagnosed by (1) direct visualisation of stone(s) on the abdominal ultrasound examination, and (2) presence of stone(s) with a diameter ≥ 4 mm. The chemiluminescence method was used to measure the serum magnesium concentration. The association between serum magnesium and the prevalence of kidney stones was evaluated using logistic and spline regression in a cross-sectional study. The prevalence of kidney stones was 6.1% (7.5% in men and 4.2% in women). Compared with the lowest quartile, the crude odds ratio for kidney stones was 0.62 (95% CI 0.46–0.85) for the highest quartile of serum magnesium, and there was an inverse dose-response relationship (P for trend = 0.038). Similar results were observed for men and women separately. The findings were not materially altered by adjustment for potential confounders. In conclusion, subjects with relatively lower levels of serum magnesium, even though within the normal range, were subject to a higher prevalence of kidney stones in a dose-response relationship manner, indicating that magnesium may play a certain role in the prevention or treatment of kidney stones.

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Data Sharing Statement

The datasets during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.



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odds ratio


Statistical Package for the Social Sciences


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The authors appreciate the support of Orthopaedics Research Institute of Xiangya Hospital.


This work was funded by the Innovation Foundation of the Central South University for Postgraduate (2018zzts045); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81702207, 81702206); the Key Research and Development Program of Hunan Province (2018SK2070, 2018SK2073); the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of Central South University (182130); the Young Investigator Grant of Xiangya Hospital, Central South University (2016Q03, 2016Q06) and the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province (2017JJ3491, 2017JJ3492).

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This work was carried out in collaboration with all authors. JW, TY and JW conceived the study, and were responsible for conception and design of the study and drafted the manuscript. CZ and YW contributed to data collection. JW and ZY contributed to preparation and data analysis. TY, YW and CZ contributed to revision of the manuscript. All the authors contributed to the interpretation of the data and critically reviewed the manuscript for publication. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yilun Wang or Tubao Yang.

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The protocol has been reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of Xiangya Hospital, Central South University (reference no. 201312459), and the methods were developed in accordance with the approved guidelines.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Wu, J., Yang, Z., Wei, J. et al. Association Between Serum Magnesium and the Prevalence of Kidney Stones: a Cross-sectional Study. Biol Trace Elem Res 195, 20–26 (2020).

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