CalciumOsteoporosisVitamin D

More on calcium supplements and the risk of cardiovascular disease

Calcium supplements are widely used to help prevent osteoporosis but have been associated with a possible increase in the risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

Now, researchers from the UK and Denmark have presented an alternative view.

The evidence for cardiovascular benefits.

  • The evidence supporting calcium + vitamin D as an adjunct to bisphosphonates (Actonel, Boniva, others) to treat osteoporosis is reassuring in terms of cardiovascular safety and improved survival.
    • In a retrospective review of 23,615 patients, calcium + vitamin D or vitamin D + anti-osteoporotic drugs reduced mortality in men by 28% and women by 38%.
  • Because of limitations in study design, it’s not possible to be sure that calcium supplements + vitamin D will not cause adverse cardiovascular events or to link them with certainty to increased cardiovascular risk.

The bottom line?

“Clearly,” conclude the authors, “further studies are needed and the debate remains ongoing.”

4/26/11 21:22 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.