A decreased risk for cardiovascular disease has been related to the hardness of drinking water, particularly high levels of magnesium. However, the evidence is still uncertain, especially in relation to individual intake from water.
We used data from the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program, a population-based case-control study conducted during 1992-1994, to study the association between myocardial infarction and the daily intake of drinking water magnesium and calcium. Our analyses are based on 497 cases age 45-70 years, and 677 controls matched on age, sex, and hospital catchment area. Individual data on magnesium, calcium, and hardness of the domestic drinking water were assessed from waterwork registers or analyses of well water.
After adjustment for the matching variables and smoking, hypertension, socioeconomic status, job strain, body mass index, diabetes, and physical inactivity, the odds ratio for myocardial infarction was 1.09 (95% confidence interval = 0.81-1.46) associated with a tap water hardness above the median (>4.4 German hardness degrees) and 0.88 (0.67-1.15) associated with a water magnesium intake above the median (>1.86 mg/d). There was no apparent sign of any exposure-response pattern related to water intake of magnesium or calcium.
This study does not support previous reports of a protective effect on myocardial infarction associated with consumption of drinking water with higher levels of hardness, magnesium, or calcium.
2005. Vol. 16, no 4, 570-576 p.