Calcium supplements are widely taken by women for bone health. Previous studies have suggested that calcium supplements may increase risk of cardiovascular disease, but the data has been inconsistent. A new study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) did not find that calcium supplement intake increases risk of cardiovascular disease in women.
Researchers examined supplemental calcium use and incident cardiovascular disease in 74,245 women who were followed for 24 years in the Nurses' Health Study. The women did not have cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start of the study. Calcium supplement intake was assessed every four years.
The researchers stated the study has several strengths compared to prior studies including the large number of participants, long-term follow-up, large number of cardiovascular events that were confirmed by medical record review, detailed information about diet and other cardiovascular disease risk factors, and repeated assessment of calcium supplement use over the 24-year follow up period.
The researchers found that at the start of the study, women who took calcium supplements had higher levels of physical activity, smoked less and had lower trans fat intake compared to women who did not take calcium supplements.
Source: Osteoporosis International, 2014.
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