High Dose of Calcium Linked to Increased Heart Disease Death in Men

First Posted: Feb 05, 2013 07:48 AM EST

A latest study finds a strong correlation between high intake of supplemental calcium and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) death in men, but the same is absent in women.

This conclusion was made after analyzing 388,000 participants who belonged to the age group of 50 to 71.

Nowadays, elderly people depend on calcium supplementation for bone health benefits. This helps in preventing osteoporosis. But not much is known about the effect on the nonskeletal outcomes that includes cardiovascular health, and it has become a debatable topic.

In order to examine whether the intake of supplemental calcium was associated with death from CVD, heart diseases and cerebrovascular disease, a study was conducted by Qian Xiao, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues.

They worked on data from the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study that was collected in 1995 and 1996 and included 388,229 men and women.  

"In this large, prospective study we found that supplemental but not dietary calcium intake was associated with an increased CVD mortality in men but not in women," the author was quoted as saying in medicalxpress.

On conducting 12 years of follow-up, it was seen that there were nearly 7,904 CVD deaths in men and 3,874 CVD deaths in women, reports Consumeraffairs. Nearly 70 percent of women used calcium supplements, whereas in men just 51 percent of them depended on calcium supplements.

Those men who took more than 1,000 mg of calcium supplements per day had increased risk of total CVD death.  While in women, the intake of supplemental calcium was not linked with CVD deaths.

The study details were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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