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Heart and Vascular Health
Media, News & Topics on prevention, diagnosis & treatment of cardiovascular disease
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NOT Recommended: Vitamin D & Calcium Supplementation to Prevent Fractures in Adults per #USPSTF

NOT Recommended: Vitamin D & Calcium Supplementation to Prevent Fractures in Adults per #USPSTF | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended against vitamin D and calcium supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women, citing research showing that such supplementation increases the risk of kidney stones and does not protect against fractures in this population.

Seth Bilazarian, MD's insight:

USPSTF has moved from frank enthusiasm with calcium, to caution and questions about a year ago (http://goo.gl/e5LnP ;) to finally not recommending these supplements that may increase cardiovascular risk.

This will hopefully be adopted by patients and doctors.

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High intake of supplemental calcium associated with excess CVD death in men but not women

High intake of supplemental calcium associated with excess CVD death in men but not women | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

Importance Calcium intake has been promoted because of its proposed benefit on bone health, particularly among the older population. However, concerns have been raised about the potential adverse effect of high calcium intake on cardiovascular health.

 

Objective To investigate whether intake of dietary and supplemental calcium is associated with mortality from total cardiovascular disease (CVD), heart disease, and cerebrovascular diseases.

 

Results During a mean of 12 years of follow-up, 7904 and 3874 CVD deaths in men and women, respectively, were identified. Supplements containing calcium were used by 51% of men and 70% of women. In men, supplemental calcium intake was associated with an elevated risk of CVD death (RR>1000 vs 0 mg/d, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.05-1.36), more specifically with heart disease death (RR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.03-1.37) but not significantly with cerebrovascular disease death (RR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.81-1.61). In women, supplemental calcium intake was not associated with CVD death (RR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.96-1.18), heart disease death (1.05; 0.93-1.18), or cerebrovascular disease death (1.08; 0.87-1.33). Dietary calcium intake was unrelated to CVD death in either men or women.

 

Conclusions and Relevance Our findings suggest that high intake of supplemental calcium is associated with an excess risk of CVD death in men but not in women. Additional studies are needed to investigate the effect of supplemental calcium use beyond bone health.

Seth Bilazarian, MD's insight:

Thre has been concern that the risks of taking calcium supplements may exceed the benefits in some patients. The "hardening of the arteries" that causes vascular problems such as heart attack, stroke and gangrene, is caused by calcium deposits (vascular calcification).  Taking high doses of calcium raises the available calcium in the blood vessles for deposit in the artery wall and the calcium may not be incorporated in the bones which is the goal of treatment.  The recommendation that men consider avoiding calciu supplemetns is reasonable.

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Dangers of Too Much Calcium

Dangers of Too Much Calcium | Heart and Vascular Health | Scoop.it

New research suggests that older women who take large calcium supplements may be at increased risk of heart disease and death. After controlling for physical activity, education, smoking, alcohol and other dietary factors, they found that women who consumed 1,400 milligrams or more of calcium a day had more than double the risk of death from heart disease, compared with those with intakes between 600 and 1,000 milligrams. These women also had a 49 percent higher rate of death from cardiovascular disease, and a 40 percent higher risk of death from any cause.

Seth Bilazarian, MD's insight:

Seeing is believing.  Calcified coronary arteries on the coronary angiograms performed during cardiac catheterization raise the risk for patients.  The "hardening of the arteries" was described more than a century ago.  The arteries become "bony canals".  I agree with: “If you have a normal diet, you don’t need to take calcium supplements,” said the lead author, Dr. Karl Michaëlsson.

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