Source: University of Southampton
Summary: Researchers in a new study has found that there is no association between the use of calcium or vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements, which usually come in the forms of tablets, are widely used and have been generally viewed as relatively safe, but some researchers have previously raised concerns over potential links with cardiovascular disease. Researchers from the University of Southampton has found that there is no association between the use of calcium or vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks. Investigators used the internationally unique UK Biobank cohort, comprising over 500,000 men and women aged between 40 and 69 years, to explore relationships between use of calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation and the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks. The study findings were published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements are widely used in the population and are particularly appropriate for those individuals at risk of deficiency in either nutrient. In this situation, there is good evidence that they provide a modest reduction in fracture risk, although do not replace medications specifically licensed for the treatment of osteoporosis. The analysis accounted for a wide range of other potential influences and did not detect any statistically significant associations between use of the supplements and events such as heart attacks, hospital admission for angina, or related deaths. The study is the first to investigate the issue in such a large cohort in which both the exposures and the outcomes have been defined and sampled in a uniform fashion, with information on cardiovascular outcomes and deaths.
Prof. Cyrus Cooper said, “This work forms part of a larger programme of research at the MRC LEU, University of Southampton, addressing the determinants of osteoporosis and musculoskeletal health across the life course, and demonstrates the importance of working with world-leading globally unique resources such as the UK Biobank.”
More Information: Nicholas C Harvey et al, “Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation Are Not Associated With Risk of Incident Ischemic Cardiac Events or Death: Findings From the UK Biobank Cohort”, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research(2018). DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3375