April 22nd, 2011

Podcast 119: Calcium supplements and risk

Most clinicians, when asked, say they will routinely recommend calcium supplements for their postmenopausal patients. A meta-analysis from BMJ shows that this well-intentioned advice seems to lead to a moderate increase in cardiovascular risk in these women.

We talk with Prof. Ian Reid, whose re-analysis of Women’s Health Initiative data confirms earlier work he’d done.  Listen in.

Interview-related links:

2 Responses to “Podcast 119: Calcium supplements and risk”

  1. David Ernst,MD says:

    Is the increased cardiovascular risk of calcium supplements for the prevention of osteoporosis also true for established osteoporosis? Is it true for calcium citrate as well as CaCO3? How should the current treatment recommendations for severe osteoporosis with very low BMD and/or multiple fragility fractures be modified? If agents that increase osteoblastic bone formation are utilized,e.g. teriparatide, would supplemental calcium go to bone and not blood vessel walls?

  2. L Martin says:

    The article published in BMJ is a meta-analysis, utilizing some data from WHI, but as the editorial stated, the randomization process has been jeopardized by the regrouping of data in the BMJ analysis. I do not plan on making any changes in recommendations for calcium, other than to be sure that patients also take appropriate amounts of vitamin D as well. This information is not new.

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