Calcium supplements linked to myocardial infarctions
Heart doi:10.1136 heartjn 2011-301345
Calcium supplements approximately double the risk of suffering myocardial infarctions (MI), according to a study that enrolled a total of 23,980 patients age between 35 and 64 years, who did not have a history of major cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Researchers divided patients into four groups (quartiles) based on calcium intake, over, on average, 11 years. Those in the second highest quartile of total dietary calcium intake were 31 per cent less likely to suffer a MI than those in the lowest quartile.
People in the second highest quartile of calcium intake from dairy sources were 32% less likely to suffer a MI than the lowest quartile. However, no significant difference emerged in the highest quartile and dietary calcium did not seem to influence the risk of suffering a stroke or dying from CVD.
The authors conclude that, in contrast to some previous studies, 'Increasing calcium intake from diet might not confer significant cardiovascular benefits'.
People taking calcium combined with other supplements were almost twice as likely to suffer a MI compared to those not taking any supplement (hazard ratio [HR] 1.86), especially if they used only calcium (HR 2.39). The authors suggest taking calcium supplements 'which might raise MI risk… with caution".
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