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Systematic review
Calcium supplements increase risk of myocardial infarction
  1. Sonal Singh1,
  2. Curt D Furberg2
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Sonal Singh
    Division of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Suite 8063, 1830 E Monument Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA; ssingh31{at}

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Calcium supplements are commonly used by older people, usually in combination with vitamin D, to reduce the risk of fractures. Prior observational studies suggest that calcium supplementation may have favourable effects on surrogate markers of cardiovascular risk. However, the Woman's Health Initiative randomised controlled trial found no effect of calcium/vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes or mortality.1


Bolland and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis using MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials and trial registries. Randomised placebo controlled trials of calcium supplements with 100 or more participants, greater than 40 years of age, were included. Trials where calcium supplements were coadministered with vitamin D were excluded. The primary …

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  • Competing interests None.