The Washington Post (4/19, Stein) "The Checkup" blog reported that "an analysis of data collected about more than 16,000 women who participated in the landmark Women's Health Initiative found that those who started taking calcium as part of the study were at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes." The research, "published in...BMJ, found that the women who were not taking calcium when the study started but began taking it when they got into the research project were at between 13 and 22 percent increased risk. The risk occurred regardless of whether the women were taking calcium alone or combined with vitamin D, the researchers found."
HealthDay (4/19, Gardner) reported that "the case against calcium became stronger when researchers added in data from 13 other, unpublished trials involving almost 30,000 women. Now the increased risk for heart attack was 25 to 30 percent and, for a stroke, 15 to 20 percent."
MedPage Today (4/19, Kaiser) reported that "the authors suspect that the abrupt change in blood calcium levels after taking a supplement causes the adverse effect, rather than it being related to the total amount of calcium consumed." Also covering the story are the UK's Press Association (4/20), the UK's Telegraph (4/20, Adams), the UK's Daily Mail (4/20, Hope), WebMD (4/19, Mann) and HeartWire (4/19, Wood).
Posted by Steven Almany, MD