High calcium intake doubles risk of cardiovascular death in women

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 07:00 hrs

High intakes of calcium in women is associated with a higher risk of death from all causes - cardiovascular disease in particular- a study has suggested.

Experts recommend a high calcium intake and as such, more than 60 percent of middle-aged and older women in the US now take supplements.

Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden studied 61,443 Swedish women (born between 1914 and 1948) for an average of 19 years to test if the intake had connection to higher risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke.

Data was taken from the Swedish Cause of Death Registry and information on diet was taken from the Swedish Mammography Cohort.

Information was obtained from the women on their menopausal status, postmenopausal oestrogen therapy, parity information, weight and height, smoking habits, leisure-time physical activity and educational level.

Results showed that during 19 years of follow-up, 11,944 women (17 percent) died: 3,862 of these (32 percent) died from cardiovascular disease, 1932 (16 percent) heart disease and 1100 (8 percent) from stroke. Highest rates of all-cause, cardiovascular and heart disease were observed among those with a dietary calcium intake higher than 1400mg/day.

In addition, researchers observed higher death rates among women with an intake below 600mg/day.

Women who had a higher dietary intake of calcium exceeding 1400mg/day and also used supplements had a higher death rate compared to those not taking supplements. Women with more than 1400 mg/day calcium intake were more than twice as likely to die compared with women with a 600-999mg/day calcium intake.

The study has been published on website bmj.com. (ANI)

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