Poster Topical Area: Methods and Protocols

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 694

P15-033 - Development of a Screening Tool to Identify Patients at Risk of Magnesium Deficiency

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives: Magnesium is a cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee found magnesium (Mg) to be under-consumed relative to the Estimated Average Requirement and characterized it as a shortfall nutrient of public health concern. We report on the development of a novel tool that can be used to help clinicians identify patients at risk of Mg deficiency.

Methods Based on a survey created by Seelig and Rosanoff, we built a computerized, self-scoring questionnaire to assess potential risk of Mg deficiency. The 71-item questionnaire includes a new dietary intake survey, which measures the intake of 60 foods and supplements that are good sources of Mg, as well as validated tools which assess alcohol intake, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Scores are based on the strength of the evidence for the association with altered Mg homeostasis. The sum of scores from the non-dietary section is reported as a risk score for likelihood of increased Mg needs, distinct from dietary Mg intake.

The tool was initially field tested with 7 Registered Dieticians and 25 clinicians with varying backgrounds. Validation of the dietary intake survey is in process.


In focus group testing 47% said the questionnaire was too long and 50% stated they could not envision using it in their practices. The most commonly cited reasons for not using the questionnaire included clinical time burden and lack of personal professional understanding of the role of Mg in health. Results of dietary intake validation and further clinician testing will be included at ASN.


A primary concern cited by clinicians who participated in the focus groups with this preliminary tool was their lack of training and understanding about evidence linking Mg deficiency to clinical outcomes. They queried whether a serum Mg assessment would be more time efficient and more valuable than the results of this questionnaire. Serum Mg, however, is an imperfect marker of total Mg status and the current reference range is rooted in outdated data. The Mg questionnaire incorporates validated tools and, once the dietary portion is fully validated, this tool also can be used to collect data currently lacking with regard to Mg's role in health.

Funding Source: Center for Magnesium Education & Research, LLC

CoAuthors: Andrea Rosanoff, PhD – Center for Magnesium Education & Research, LLC; Rebecca Costello, PhD – NIH; Kristen Johnson, PhD – University of Tennessee; Bernadette Marriott, PhD – Medical University of South Carolina

Emily A. Young

Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina