Study weighs calcium's benefits, risks
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 4, 2008
Older women who take in additional calcium may be building bone but also upping the chance of having a heart attack, stroke and sudden death, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in the British Medical Journal.
Researchers with the University of Auckland in New Zealand randomized 1,471 postmenopausal women to receive either one gram of calcium or a placebo daily for five years. The project originally was designed to investigate the effect of calcium supplements on bone, but a secondary analysis revealed that these pills increased the risk of myocardial infarction by 49%. They also increased the risk of any sort of vascular event by 21%.
The authors are calling for calcium's possible cardiovascular risks to be balanced against its benefits for bone.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/02/04/hlbf0204.htm.