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Calcium supplements linked to heart attacks

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Calcium supplements, commonly taken by older people for osteoporosis, are associated with an increased risk of a heart attack, according to a study published in the BMJ online.

Researchers analysed the results of 11 randomised trials of calcium supplements – without co-administered vitamin D – involving 12,000 patients. They found calcium supplements were linked to a 30 per cent increased risk of heart attack, regardless of patient age of type of supplement.

Given the modest benefits of calcium supplements on bone density and fracture prevention, a reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in osteoporosis management is warranted, the authors said.

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