Heartbreaking news for calcium lovers

Looks like taking that extra calcium tablet in the morning to strengthen the bones could have a negative effect on the heart, or so says this meta-analysis from New Zealand, published in the BMJ.

Looking at the studies with patient-level data, the hazard ratio for myocardial infarction was 1.31, with a significant p value of 0.035. The trial level data was pretty similar – a relative risk of 1.27, p value of 0.038. 

And now comes a big issue – calcium supplementation is a critical part of osteoporosis prevention and management, and we all know that osteoporosis is a significant cause for problems in the elderly population. There are some problems with this study though – the trials from which the data were collected were not aiming to collect data about cardiovascular events, and seven trials (or about 15% of total data) didn’t have complete results. Also, this was not looking at calcium together with vitamin D, as is commonly found – it was just calcium on its own. 

Still, there are other studies looking at patients with renal failure on calcium supplements that show something similar, so this is an area that warrants another couple of trials. 

Keep your eye on this article and more to come – its osteoporosis vs. MI at this stage. Check out the full article here

IMAGE: Patrix


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