A Review of Calcium Supplements and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
ABSTRACT A group of academic and industry experts in the fields of nutrition, cardiology, epidemiology, food science, bone health, and integrative medicine examined the data on the relationship between calcium supplement use and risk of cardiovascular events, with an emphasis on 4 of the Bradford Hill criteria for causal inference: strength, consistency, dose-response, and biological plausibility. Results from 2 epidemiological studies and a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials, including a subgroup analysis from the Women's Health Initiative, have prompted concern about a potential association between calcium supplement use and a small increase in the risk of adverse cardiovascular events. However, a number of issues with the studies, such as inadequate compliance with the intervention, use of nontrial calcium supplements, potential bias in event ascertainment, and lack of information on and adjustment for known cardiovascular risk determinants, suggest that bias and confounding cannot be excluded as explanations for the reported associations. Findings from other cohort studies also suggest no detrimental effect of calcium from diet or supplements, with or without vitamin D, on cardiovascular disease risk. In addition, little evidence exists for plausible biological mechanisms to link calcium supplement use with adverse cardiovascular outcomes. The authors do not believe that the evidence presented to date regarding the hypothesized relationship between calcium supplement use and increased cardiovascular disease risk is sufficient to warrant a change in the Institute of Medicine recommendations, which advocate use of supplements to promote optimal bone health in individuals who do not obtain recommended intakes of calcium through dietary sources.
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ABSTRACT: Calcium supplements have been widely used by older men and women. However, in little more than a decade, authoritative recommendations have changed from encouraging the widespread use of calcium supplements to stating that they should not be used for primary prevention of fractures. This substantial shift in recommendations has occurred as a result of accumulated evidence of marginal antifracture efficacy, and important adverse effects from large randomized controlled trials of calcium or coadministered calcium and vitamin D supplements. In this review, we discuss this evidence, with a particular focus on increased cardiovascular risk with calcium supplements, which we first described 5 years ago. Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D marginally reduce total fractures but do not prevent hip fractures in community-dwelling individuals. They also cause kidney stones, acute gastrointestinal events, and increase the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. Any benefit of calcium supplements on preventing fracture is outweighed by increased cardiovascular events. While there is little evidence to suggest that dietary calcium intake is associated with cardiovascular risk, there is also little evidence that it is associated with fracture risk. Therefore, for the majority of people, dietary calcium intake does not require close scrutiny. Because of the unfavorable risk/benefit profile, widespread prescribing of calcium supplements to prevent fractures should be abandoned. Patients at high risk of fracture should be encouraged to take agents with proven efficacy in preventing vertebral and nonvertebral fractures.Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 04/2011; 26(4):899; author reply 900-1. DOI:10.1002/jbmr.331 · 6.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The ADVICE (ADherence in VItamin-D and Calcium Embedded or not) survey was aimed to evaluate the effect of a patient-focused motivation strategy on the adherence to calcium and vitamin D supplementation. The survey also intended to identify possible factors being able to influence the compliance (i.e. the existence of individual preferences towards different dosages or regimens of supplementation). We planned to involve consecutive patients visited between 2010 and 2011 at 35 centres specialized in diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in different Italian regions. Each patient has been requested to declare if he/she was already assuming any supplementation with calcium and vitamin D (naïve or not naïve). All patients underwent a first visit (T0) and two follow up visits at 6 and 12 months (T6 e T12). The assessment of the adherence was measured through the Morinsky Medication Adherence Scale, a score based on 8 different questions, specifically validated to determine therapeutical compliance (0-5: not acceptable; 6-7: acceptable; 8: ideal). 732 women (mean age: 66.9; average BMI: 25.3) and 30 men (mean age: 71.9; average BMI: 24.5) were enrolled; 34% of female patients (n=245) and 66% of males (n=20) reported previous fractures. Not naïve patients were 385 (54%). A total of 309 patients (43%) were concurrently assuming an antifracture drug; 229 subjects were osteoporotic (45%), while 224 were osteopenic (44%). The mean Morinsky score in not naïve patients was 5.72, 6.19 and 6.18 at T0, T6, and T12, respectively. Thus, no differences in the Morinsky score were observed between T6 and T12. Naïve patients showed an average Morinsky score of 5.78 at T6 and 6.39 at T12. Older age was not significantly associated with the observed changes in the scores. The onset of AEs related to the supplementation with calcium and vitamin D was able to negatively influence the adherence at the subsequent control point. Bone mineral density, previous fractures, and concurrent assumption of any antifracture drug did not significantly influence the adherence, as well as the differences in the dosages or regimens of calcium and vitamin D administration. Activities aimed to strengthen motivation of the patients improved the adherence to calcium and vitamin D supplementations after only 6 months.Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 09/2012; 9(3):157-60.
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Our objective was to study changes in calcium and vitamin D intakes over time, and their cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with bone mineral density (BMD). METHODS: We followed 9382 women and men aged >/=25 and 899 aged 16-24, for 10 and 2 years respectively. RESULTS: Calcium and vitamin D intakes increased over time in adults, but decreased in women aged 16-18. The increased intakes in adults were largely attributable to the increased use of calcium and/or vitamin D supplements. Both the percentage of supplement users and average dose among users increased over time. There was nevertheless a high prevalence of calcium and vitamin D intake below the estimated average requirement. At baseline, higher calcium and vitamin D intakes were associated with higher total hip and femoral neck BMD in young men, and cumulatively high levels of calcium and vitamin D intakes over time contributed to better BMD maintenance at lumbar spine and hip sites in adult women. CONCLUSIONS: Although total intakes, particularly of vitamin D, frequently fell below the Institute of Medicine recommendations despite an increase over time in supplement use, we found some positive associations between total calcium and vitamin D intake and bone health.Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions 01/2013; 13:470-9. · 2.40 Impact Factor