Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks

February 16, 2018, University of Southampton
Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks
Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks. Credit: University of Southampton

New research from the University of Southampton has found 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.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, investigators from the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton (MRC LEU), 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 such as heart attacks.

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 results are the first in such a large cohort of both men and women, with previous studies focused mainly on women. They are also 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 and deaths obtained from linkage to Hospital Episode Statistics and ONS Death Registry data.

Nicholas Harvey, Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology at the MRC LEU, University of Southampton, led the analysis. He said, "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."

He added, "Whilst our current findings can never be absolutely definitive compared with those from a comprehensive randomised controlled trial, it is unlikely to be possible to undertake this sort of trial in practice, and our results provide reassuring findings with regard to cardiovascular outcomes, at least within the age range studied. Further study will be needed as this population ages, to examine whether the lack of association persists into older age."

Professor Cyrus Cooper, Director and Professor of Rheumatology at the MRC LEU, University of Southampton 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 lifecourse, and demonstrates the importance of working with world leading globally unique resources such as the UK Biobank."

Explore further: Study supports cardiovascular safety of calcium and vitamin D supplementation

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

Related Stories

Study supports cardiovascular safety of calcium and vitamin D supplementation

April 16, 2016
UK researchers have presented a new study that supports the cardiovascular safety of calcium and vitamin D supplementation. The study was based on analysis of the UK Biobank, a very large study comprising 502,664 men and ...

ESCEO-IOF expert panel reviews current evidence for efficacy of calcium supplementation

November 15, 2016
An expert consensus meeting of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has reviewed the ...

Calcium, vitamin D don't seem to reduce fracture risk in seniors

December 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—For community-dwelling older adults, supplementation with calcium, vitamin D, or both does not reduce the incidence of fractures, according to a review published in the Dec. 26 issue of the Journal of the American ...

Pregnancy vitamin D supplementation may help winter baby's bones

March 1, 2016
Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may lead to stronger bones in babies born during the winter months, a new Southampton study has shown.

A broken bone may lead to widespread body pain—not just at the site of the fracture

January 5, 2016
Breaking a major bone may increase risk of widespread chronic body pain in later life, a new study has found.

Recommended for you

Male contraceptive compound stops sperm without affecting hormones

April 20, 2018
A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential ...

New device to help patients with rare disease access life-saving treatment

April 19, 2018
Patients with a rare medical condition can receive life-saving treatment at the touch of a button thanks to a new device developed by scientists.

Drinking may worsen hearing loss at loud concerts

April 19, 2018
(HealthDay)—High-decibel music blasting at big concert venues is a known cause of short-term hearing loss. But new research suggests drinking doesn't help matters, with drunk concertgoers actually moving closer to loudspeakers.

Age affects how we predict and respond to stress at home

April 19, 2018
A recent study finds that older adults are better than younger adults at anticipating stressful events at home - but older adults are not as good at using those predictions to reduce the adverse impacts of the stress.

Low-cost anti-hookworm drug boosts female farmers' physical fitness

April 19, 2018
Impoverished female farm workers infected with intestinal parasites known as hookworms saw significant improvements in physical fitness when they were treated with a low-cost deworming drug. The benefits were seen even in ...

What happens to our muscles during spaceflight and when living on Mars?

April 17, 2018
The inactivity of astronauts during spaceflights presents a significant risk to their muscles, says a new study in The Journal of Physiology. Scientists have simulated the impact of 21 day spaceflights on the body, and the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.