Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/eb-2013-101460
  • Primary health care
  • Cohort study

Calcium supplements associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death in men but not women

  1. Andrew Grey
  1. Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Mark J Bolland, Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1042, New Zealand; m.bolland{at}

Commentary on:

Implications for practice and research

  • Calcium supplements increase cardiovascular risk.

  • The role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis should be reconsidered.


In 2008, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) suggested that calcium supplements might increase the risk of cardiovascular events.1 Subsequent meta-analyses of RCTs examining calcium monotherapy and calcium and vitamin D confirmed these findings. In a pooled analysis of 13 RCTs of calcium with or without vitamin D (n=29 277) including 1391 patients with myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke,2 calcium increased the risk of MI by 25% and stroke by 15–20%. Xiao and colleagues explored this issue in the observational National Institutes of Health-American …

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