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High Calcium Intake Linked to Increased Mortality in Women

Intake of >1,400 mg/day linked to increased all-cause, cardiovascular, but not stroke, mortality

High Calcium Intake Linked to Increased Mortality in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For women, high intake of calcium (>1,400 mg/day) is associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in BMJ.

Karl Michaëlsson, M.D., Ph.D., from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues conducted a prospective longitudinal cohort study involving 61,433 women, followed for a median of 19 years, to examine the correlation between long-term intake of dietary and supplemental calcium and all-cause and cardiovascular disease death.

The researchers found that there were non-linear risk patterns associated with dietary calcium intake, with higher rates seen for the highest intake (1,400 mg or more per day). Compared with 600 to 1,000 mg intake per day, intake above 1,400 mg per day correlated with significantly increased risk of all-cause death (hazard ratio [HR], 1.40), cardiovascular disease death (HR, 1.49), and ischemic heart disease death (HR, 2.14), but not stroke-related death (HR, 0.73; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.33 to 1.65). After sensitivity analysis there was no longer any indication of an increased risk of death with low dietary calcium intake (less than 600 mg/day). Calcium tablet use was, on average, not linked to all-cause or cause-specific mortality, but users with intake above 1,400 mg per day had a hazard ratio of 2.57 for all-cause mortality.

"High calcium intakes were associated with higher rates of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease," the authors write. "Mortality was not increased between 600 and 1,400 mg/day of total calcium intake, the most customary levels of intake in this setting."

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