Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMJ - British Medical Journal


Geisel School of Medicine


Objective: To investigate whether calcium supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

Osteoporosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older people. Calcium supplements margin- ally reduce the risk of fracture, and most guidelines recommend adequate calcium intake as an integral part of the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. Consequently, calcium supplements are commonly used by people over the age of 50. Observational stu- dies suggest that high calcium intake might protect against vascular disease, and the findings are consis- tent with those of interventional studies of calcium sup- plements thatshow improvementin some vascular risk factors. In contrast, calcium supplements accelerate vascular calcification and increase mortality in patients with renal failure, in both dialysis and predialysis populations. Furthermore, a five year randomised controlled trial of calcium supplements in healthy older women, in which cardiovascular events were prespecified as secondary end points, recently reported possible increases in rates of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events in women allocated to calcium. We carried out a meta-analysis of cardiovascular events in randomised trials of cal- cium supplements.



Original Citation

Bolland MJ, Avenell A, Baron JA, Grey A, MacLennan GS, Gamble GD, Reid IR. Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010 Jul 29;341:c3691. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c3691. PMID: 20671013; PMCID: PMC2912459.