Data indicate an inverse association between dietary calcium and magnesium intakes and blood pressure (BP); however, much less is known about associations between urinary calcium and magnesium excretion and BP in general populations. The authors assessed the relation of BP to 24-hour excretion of calcium and magnesium in 2 cross-sectional studies. The International Study of Macro- and Micro-Nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) comprised 4,679 persons aged 40–59 years from 17 population samples in China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and the International Cooperative Study on Salt, Other Factors, and Blood Pressure (INTERSALT) comprised 10,067 persons aged 20–59 years from 52 samples around the world. Timed 24-hour urine collections, BP measurements, and nutrient data from four 24-hour dietary recalls (INTERMAP) were collected. In multiple linear regression analyses, urinary calcium excretion was directly associated with BP. After adjustment for multiple confounders (including weight, height, alcohol intake, calcium intake, urinary sodium level, and urinary potassium intake), systolic BP was 1.9 mm Hg higher per each 4.1 mmol per 24 hours (2 standard deviations) of higher urinary calcium excretion (associations were smaller for diastolic BP) in INTERMAP. Qualitatively similar associations were observed in INTERSALT analyses. Associations between magnesium excretion and BP were small and nonsignificant for most of the models examined. The present data suggest that altered calcium homoeostasis, as exhibited by increased calcium excretion, is associated with higher BP levels.
2011. Vol. 174, no 1, 52-62 p.