Calcium, vitamin D supplementation do not confer increased CV risk – Healio

Adults taking calcium or vitamin D supplements do not have increased CV risk compared with the general population, according to the results of a prospective cohort study.

Researchers conducted an analysis of 502,664 participants from the UK Biobank (median age, 58 years; 54.5% women) to determine whether self-reported supplementation with calcium or vitamin D was associated with hospital admission for an ischemic heart disease event, admission for any CV event and death after those events.

Nicholas C. Harvey, MA, MB, BChir, PhD, FRCP, from the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, England, and colleagues presented their findings at the WCO-IOF-ESCEO World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

Nicholas C. Harvey

The researchers adjusted their analyses for age, BMI, smoking, alcohol intake, education level, physical activity and, in women, use of hormone therapy.

Harvey and colleagues reported that in the UK Biobank cohort, 34,890 (6.9%) individuals reported taking calcium supplements, 20,004 (4%) reported taking vitamin D supplements and 10,406 (2.1%) reported taking both.

The researchers found no associations in crude or adjusted analyses between use of calcium supplements and admission for ischemic heart disease (adjusted HR for women = 1.06; 95% CI, 0.85-1.31; adjusted HR for men = 1.02; 95% CI, 0.8-1.3), admission for any CV event or death after such admissions (adjusted HR for women = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.32-1.61; adjusted HR for men = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.52-1.62).

Harvey and colleagues reported that the results were similar for use of vitamin D supplementation and use of both calcium and vitamin D supplementation, and that the results were consistent regardless of prior CVD.

“Calcium supplementation is widely used, including as an adjunct to therapy for osteoporosis,” Harvey said in a press release. “Previous studies have provided inconsistent findings with regard to associations between calcium supplements and [CV] events. Our results, using the largest single study to date, provide reassurance that such supplementation appears safe.” by Erik Swain


Harvey NC, et al. Abstract P311. Presented at: WCO-IOF-ESCEO World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases; April 14-17, 2016; Malaga, Spain.
Disclosure: Harvey reports receiving consultant fees, lecture fees and honoraria from Alliance for Better Bone Health, Amgen, Consilient Healthcare, Eli Lilly, Internis Pharma, Merck, Servier and Shire, all unrelated to the present study.


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