Current research suggests conflicting evidence surrounding the association between serum magnesium levels and the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to explore, summarize and quantify the published literature addressing this topic.
We conducted an exhaustive literature search on Scopus and PubMed for all the relevant observational studies published up to August 2018. A meta-analysis using a random-effects model was used to summarize the overall association between serum magnesium level and ADHD from the available data. We identified seven studies which reported the mean and standard deviation (SD) of magnesium concentration in both ADHD and control groups. The random-effects meta-analysis showed that subjects with ADHD had 0.105 mmol/l (95% CI: -0.188, -0.022; P < 0.013) lower serum magnesium levels compared with to their healthy controls. Moreover, we observed striking and statistically significant heterogeneity among the included studies (I2 = 96.2%, P = 0.0103).
The evidence from this meta-analysis supports the theory that an inverse relationship between serum magnesium deficiency and ADHD exists. High heterogeneity amongst the included studies suggests that there is a residual need for observational and community-based studies to further investigate this issue.
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