Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Calcium supplements linked to heart attack risk in older women

  • Comment

Older women who take calcium supplements are more likely to have a heart attack, according to new research.

The research, led by professor Ian Reid at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, supports similar findings in earlier studies.

Women are often prescribed the supplements to maintain healthy bones but researchers claim their use in managing osteoporosis should now be reassessed.

The new study has been published on (British Medical Journal)

The new research follows the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study - a seven-year trial of more than 36,000 women which found no cardiovascular effect of taking combined calcium and vitamin D supplements.

But the majority of participants in that study were already taking personal calcium supplements, which may have obscured any adverse effects.

Prof Reid’s study looked at data from 16,718 women who were not taking personal calcium supplements at the start of the trial.

It found that those allocated to combined calcium and vitamin D supplements were at an increased risk of cardiovascular events, especially heart attack.

But women who were taking personal calcium supplements at the start of the trial, combined calcium and vitamin D supplements did not alter their cardiovascular risk.

The authors said they suspect abrupt changes in blood calcium levels after taking a supplement causes the adverse effect, rather than it being related to the total amount of calcium consumed.


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.