AIM: This research aimed to study the clinical and biochemical characteristics and health outcomes of patients admitted and found to have hypomagnesemia in an Australian hospital with a high proportion of Indigenous Australians.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of all patients with hypomagnesemia hospitalised between 1st August 2008 and 31st December 2014 at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH). All relevant demographic, clinical, and biochemical were collected from patients' medical records. The hospital database was reviewed in January 2018 for mortality of all included patients.
RESULTS: 876 patients had been admitted with a confirmed diagnosis of hypomagnesemia during the study period, with mean follow up period of 4.0 ±2.7 years. The mean age at admission was 52.4 ± 19.1 years, 52.2% were females and, 56.5% were Indigenous Australians. Chronic kidney disease (99.7%), excessive alcohol consumption (45.7%), hypertension (43.9%), and respiratory diseases (15.0%) were the most common conditions in these patients. Hypomagnesemia was associated with prolonged length of hospital stay. Most patients did not receive treatment for hypomagnesaemia during admission. During the follow-up period, 38.6% of patients died, and the most common causes of death were malignancies (29.9%).
CONCLUSION: Hypomagnesemia was a common and under-treated condition in hospitalised patients and was associated with poor health outcomes. Therefore, hospitals should develop guidelines for replacing and monitoring magnesium levels during hospitalisation, achieving better outcomes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.