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Is calcium supplementation a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in older women?


H Vatanparast, University of Saskatchewan, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C9, Canada. E-mail:, Phone: +1-306-966-1085, Fax: +1-306-966-6377.


Low intake of dietary calcium is related to bone loss and fragility fracture in older adults, especially postmenopausal women. Contradictory findings have been reported from studies that investigated the association between calcium supplementation and hypertension and the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Misinterpretation of findings from studies that are not primarily designed to address these issues might overshadow the benefits of dietary calcium. Until well-designed studies address the current uncertainties, the possible detrimental effect (e.g., hypercalcemia and its complications) of higher-than-recommended calcium intake should be balanced against the likely benefits of calcium on bone, particularly in elderly women.