Friday, March 12, 2010

Randomized clinical trial of calcium supplementation

Are Calcium supplements good for you?

Maybe not. This article from 2008 shows increased cardiovascular events in woman randomized to calcium supplementation. I had my mom stop her calcium supplement.
women were included in the study if they had been postmenopausal for more than five years, were aged 55 or more, and had a life expectancy of more than five years. We excluded women who were receiving treatment for osteoporosis or taking calcium supplements; those with an other major ongoing disease including hepatic, renal, or thyroid dysfunction, malignancy, or metabolic bone disease; and those with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels less than 25 nmol/l.
Patients were then randomized to a gram of elemental calcium, as calcium citrate as Citracal or matched placebo.

The results were surprising.

Its amazing the study reached clinical significance given the small size of the trial, only 1,400 patients.

A much larger study, The Women's Health Initiative randomized 36.282 patients to 500 mg of elemental calcium. They just missed significance for the composite outcome of Myocardial infarction/CHD death/CABG/PCI with a confidence interval of 0.99-1.19.

There might be some signal there.
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