Calcium supplements linked to heart attacks
Monday 02 August 2010
Ordinary calcium supplements taken by the elderly to strengthen bones may boost the risk of heart attacks, according to a study released Friday.
The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, suggest that the role of calcium in the treatment of osteoporosis should be reconsidered, the researchers said.
Calcium tablets are commonly prescribed to boost skeletal health, but a recent clinical trial suggested they might increase the number of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems in healthy older women.
To investigate further, an international team of researchers led by Ian Reid of the University of Auckland in New Zealand reviewed 11 separate clinical trials involving 12,000 patients.
They found that calcium supplements were associated with about a 30 percent jump in heart attack risk.
The chances of stroke and mortality also increased to a lesser extent.
The link was consistent across trials and was independent of age, sex, and type of supplement.
While the added risk is modest for any individual, the widespread use of calcium supplements could translate into a significantly larger disease burden across an entire population, the authors warn.
Previous studies have found that upping calcium intake through changes in diet does not increase cardiovascular problems, suggesting that the risks are restricted to supplements.
In a commentary, John Cleland of the University of Hull in Britain and colleagues point out that - regardless of possible impacts on heart attack rates - calcium supplements are probably not very efficient in reducing fractures in any case.
Life & Style blogs
Watching TV after work makes you feel 'guilty and like a failure'
NHS medics are being lured away to Australia by more money, status and sunshine, survey suggests
Xiaomi Mi4: 'Chinese Apple' launches flagship mobile to challenge iPhone
Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Condom couture: Latex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
- 1 Crash victims in car flattened by shipping container emerge with just minor injuries
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Joey Barton and Yossi Benayoun become involved in Twitter row over Israel-Gaza conflict
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...