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Calcium, vitamin D supplementation do not increase CV risks

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January 10, 2018

Adults who used calcium or vitamin D supplements, or a combination of both, had no increased risk for hospitalization for ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction or any cardiovascular event compared with those not using supplementation, according to findings published in The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

“Given the high incidence of osteoporotic fracture, cardiovascular side-effects of treatments used to improve bone health, such as calcium/vitamin D supplementation, could potentially have major implications for public health,” the researchers wrote. “Across the intervention and observational data there is substantial heterogeneity amongst both exposure and outcome definitions, and there is a marked dearth of evidence pertaining to men.”

Cyrus Cooper, OBE, MA, DM, FRCP, FFPH, FMedSci, director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at University of Southampton, and colleagues evaluated UK Biobank data from 475,255 adults (mean age, 57 years) to determine associations between calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation and risks for ischemic heart disease and subsequent mortality.

Among participants, 10.6% of women and 2.6% of men used calcium supplements, 5.2% of women and 2.6% of men used vitamin D supplements and 3.5% of women and 0.8% of men used both. Follow-up occurred during a mean of 7 years and a maximum of 10 years.

A history of fractures was positively associated with use of calcium and vitamin D supplementation (P < .001 for both).

Overall, 7,106 men and 3,407 women were hospitalized for ischemic heart disease; 2,456 men and 929 women with MI and 8,378 men and 4,312 women with any CVD.

No associations were observed between use of calcium supplements and risk for incident hospital admission, ischemic heart disease, MI or any CV event. Similar results were observed for vitamin D supplementation and any CV admission. No associations were observed between death and calcium or vitamin D supplementation, or a combination of both.

“We have demonstrated in this large prospective population-based cohort of women and men that use of calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation was not statistically significantly associated with increased risk of hospital admission or death following ischemic or non-ischemic cardiovascular events, specifically after myocardial infarction,” the researchers wrote. “This lack of association was robust to adjustment for a range of confounders, and similar in both men and women.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosures: Cooper reports he has received consultancy, lecture fees and honoraria from Amgen, the Alliance for Better Bone Health, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Medtronic, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and Servier. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.