CORRELATION BETWEEN MAGNESIUM CONCENTRATIONS IN THE DRINKING WATER AND ISCHEMIC HEART DISEASE MORTALITY RATE IN OHIO, USA
Concentration data of magnesium in drinking water were obtained for 69 of the 88 Ohio counties from: (a) public water treatment plants, and (b) the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). Ischemic heart disease mortality data were obtained from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Microsoft Excel was used to run the regression analysis.
Concentration data were divided into four groups: (1) greater than 40 mg/l, (2) 30-39 mg/l, (3) 20-29 mg/l, and (4) 10-19 mg/l. Linear regression was used to correlate death rate from heart disease, a dependent variable, to magnesium concentrations in drinking water, an independent variable. Linear regression was run for each concentration group and for all four groups combined.
The results indicate a negative correlation with low R-squared values (0.33 to 0.50) for the five groups. We conclude, therefore, that higher magnesium concentrations indicate lower mortality rates from ischemic heart disease. The low R-squared values, however, indicate that factors other than magnesium concentration may affect the incidence of this disease (e.g., other health risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, genetic factors, and proximity to hospital trauma centers).