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Calcium by itself does not reduce risk of fractures (shown yet again) – Oct 2019

Calcium supplement use is associated with less bone mineral density loss but does not lessen the risk of bone fracture across the menopause transition: Data from the Study of Women Across the Nation

J of Bone and Mineral Researc Plus https://doi.org/10.1002/jbm4.10246
Regan L. Bailey PhD, MPH, RD Peishan Zou MSc Taylor C. Wallace PhD, CFS, FACN George P. McCabe PhD Bruce A. Craig PhD … See all authors

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Diet is a modifiable factor that is related to bone mass and risk for fractures; however, the use of calcium supplements for bone health is controversial, with little scientific agreement. The purpose of this analysis was to estimate the change in lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD and the risk of bone fracture by the use of calcium supplements among the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) study participants. SWAN is a multicenter, multiethnic, community‐based longitudinal cohort designed to examine health of women during the menopause transition (n = 1,490; aged 42 to 52 years at baseline in 1996–1997 and followed annually until 2006–2008). A mixed‐effect model for repeated measures was used to estimate annualized BMD change across time between supplement users and non‐users, unadjusted or fully‐adjusted (age, race, height, weight, menopausal status [pre‐, early peri‐, late peri‐ and post‐ menopausal], DXA scanner mode, alcohol intake, vitamin D supplement use, smoking, and physical activity) and a log‐linear model with repeated measures was used to estimate the relative risk of fracture by calcium supplement use. All models were also stratified by baseline menopausal status. In fully‐adjusted models, calcium supplement use was associated with less annualized loss of femoral neck BMD (−0.0032 vs −0.0040 g/cm2/y; p < .001) and lumbar spine BMD (−0.0046 vs −0.0053 g/cm2/y, p = 0.021) in the complete cohort. However, this protective association of calcium supplement use with BMD loss was significant only among pre‐menopausal women (femoral neck:‐0.0032 vs −0.0042 g/cm2/y; p = 0.002; lumbar spine:‐0.0038 vs −0.0050 g/cm2/y, p = 0.001); no significant differences in BMD were observed among women who were early peri‐menopausal by calcium supplement use at baseline. No significant differences in the relative risk of fracture was observed, regardless of baseline menopausal status. The use of calcium supplements is associated with less BMD loss over more than a decade, but was not related to the risk of incident bone fracture across the menopause transition.


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