Pamminger N1, Porta S1,2, Gell H3, Fabian H4, Stossier H5, Kisters K6

1 Institute of Applied Stress Research, Dillach, Austria
2 Institute of Pathophysiology, Medical University, Graz, Austria
3 Theresianische Militärakademie, Wiener Neustadt
4 Institute of Psychology, University of Klagenfurt
5 Rehabilitation Clinique Ma. Wörth, Kärnten, Austria
6 St. Anna Hospital, Herne, Germany

Out of capillary blood of 11 smokers and 15 non smokers, office employees of an Upper Austrian corporation, ion. Mg, pH,
and pCO2 have been determined before and after a Shapiro – concentration test (delta values signify value changes due to
standardized excitation). Those parameters and their correlation after a slight mental irritation served to characterize the
influence of age, number of cigarettes, the irritation itself and the determination technique upon the behaviour of the
Age: Basal values of ion. Mg rise in smokers and non smokers nearly alike until about 40 years and fall afterwards.
However Mg decline after irritation is only significant in the smokers’ group. Cigarettes per day: Basal Mg levels rise with
the number of cigarettes smoked per day, up to about 20 cigarettes per day. The intensity of Mg decline after irritation
mounts with the number of cigarettes smoked. Contrary to non smokers, the smokers’ buffer capacity is small, they are
mostly unable to overcompensate after irritation. Determination method: Contrary to the results of 2 papers from the
1990 – ties (Lit.), which allegedly saw an insensitivity of the electrodes in smokers which resulted in too low Mg levels, we
even saw higher Mg levels in smokers, though the Mg decline due to irritation was significantly more expressed.
Summarily, higher Mg levels in smokers are probably due to increased metabolism. This is borne out by more expressed
reactions to psychical irritation and smaller buffer capacity. Increased Mg turnover is less dependent on age, much more
on the number of cigarettes consumed per day, correlating to a maximum of 20 cigarettes, after that correlations are
petering out.

Lit.: Thiocyanate in smokers interferes with the Nova magnesium ion-selective electrode. Nadja N. Rehaka, Stacey A. Cecco, Julie E.
Niemela and Ronald J. Elin. Clinical Chemistry September 1997 vol. 43 no. 9 1595-1600. The effect of smoking on the serum ionized magnesium concentration is method-dependent. Niemela JE1, Cecco SA, Rehak NN, Elin RJ.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1997 Oct;121(10):1087-92.