Serum and Red Cell Magnesium and Calcium Concentrations in Normotensive and Pre-Eclamptic Pregnant Women in Lagos, Nigeria


  • TO Kuye-Kuku
  • G Ajayi
  • O Adegbola



Background: Pre-eclampsia is a significant cause of maternal and foetal morbidity and mortality. This study identified the relationship between serum and red cell concentrations of magnesium and calcium in pre-eclampsia. This is to justify the use of magnesium in the prevention of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.

Objective: To compare the serum and red cell levels of calcium and magnesium among pre-eclamptic and normotensive pregnant women.

Method: A prospective, comparative study comparing serum and red cell concentrations of magnesium and calcium in sixty pre-eclamptic patients and sixty normotensive pregnant controls.

Result: The mean serum calcium concentration among pre-eclamptic patients was 2.33±0.19 mmol/l, compared with 2.47±0.23 mmol/l in the normotensive group (p = 0.244). The mean serum magnesium concentration was significantly higher among normotensive pregnant women than pre-eclamptic women (1.18±0.31 mmol/l vs 0.91±0.23 mmol/l; p = 0.001). The mean red blood cell calcium concentration was also significantly higher among pre-eclamptic pregnant women compared to the normotensive group (4.34±0.62 mmol/l vs 3.95±0.79 mmol/l; p = 0.003), but the mean red cell magnesium concentration was lower in pre-eclamptic than the normotensive control group but without statistical significance (2.04±0.65 mmol/l vs 2.26±0.79 mmol/l; p = 0.098).

Conclusion: Pre-eclampsia is associated with low concentrations of serum magnesium and calcium. Therefore, magnesium supplements may be beneficial in preventing pre-eclampsia.


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Original Research