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Calcium Supplements, Heart Disease Linked in Study of Women's Arteries

Image: Calcium Supplements, Heart Disease Linked in Study of Women's Arteries

A new study has linked calcium supplements and an increased risk of heart disease in women. (Jimmy Lopes/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 13 Oct 2016 06:32 AM

Women who take calcium supplements may be at higher risk for heart disease, according to a new study by multiple medical institutions, including Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that taking calcium supplements was associated with an increased risk for calcification of the heart arteries for women ages 45 to 84. The women studied were free of cardiovascular disease at the start of the research.

“We think the body metabolizes supplements and dietary calcium differently,” Associate Director of Preventive Cardiology and professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Dr. Erin Michos said, The Baltimore Sun reported. “If you are worried about your bones,” Michos advised, “then get your calcium through food.”

The study was undertaken after previous research showed calcium supplements didn’t get to users’ bones and were instead deposited in soft tissue and muscles like the heart. Researchers studied data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atheroschlerosis, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The study, in which 2,742 women participated, showed a 22 percent increase in the development of heart disease over a 10-year period occurred for those who used calcium supplements, even after other demographic and health factors were considered.

Calcium supplement manufacturers argue supplements are safe, citing a finding of the study that showed those with the highest calcium levels were 27 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease, even if they took supplements.

Michos disagrees. “I think we need to get the message out to our patients that they need to take caution with the supplements they take into their bodies,” she said, according to the Sun. She added that there are better medications on the market for women with weak bones.

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Women who take calcium supplements may be at higher risk for heart disease, according to a new study by multiple medical institutions, including Johns Hopkins Medicine.
calcium, supplements, heart disease, linked, women
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2016-32-13
Thursday, 13 Oct 2016 06:32 AM
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