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Risk of Ischemic Stroke doubles if take more than 1 gram of Calcium daily for years – May 2017

Risk of Ischemic Stroke Associated With Calcium Supplements With or Without Vitamin D: A Nested Case-Control Study.

J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 May 18;6(5). pii: e005795. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.117.005795.
de Abajo FJ1,2, Rodríguez-Martín S3, Rodríguez-Miguel A3, Gil MJ4.
1 Clinical Pharmacology Unit, University Hospital Príncipe de Asturias, Alcalá de Henares Madrid, Spain francisco.abajo at uah.es.
2 Departament of Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology Sector), University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares Madrid, Spain.
3 Clinical Pharmacology Unit, University Hospital Príncipe de Asturias, Alcalá de Henares Madrid, Spain.
4 Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance, Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices, Madrid, Spain.

There is controversy surrounding the risk of ischemic stroke associated with the use of calcium supplements either in monotherapy or in combination with vitamin D.

A nested case-control study was performed with patients aged 40 to 89 years old, among whom a total of 2690 patients had a first episode of nonfatal ischemic stroke and for which 19 538 controls were randomly selected from the source population and frequency-matched with cases for age, sex, and calendar year. Logistic regression provided the odds ratios while adjusting for confounding factors. A sensitivity analysis was performed by restricting to patients who were new users of calcium supplements as either monotherapy or with vitamin D. Calcium supplementation with vitamin D was not associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke (odds ratio 0.85; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-1.08) in the population as a whole or under any of the conditions examined (dose, duration, background cardiovascular risk, sex, or age). Calcium supplement monotherapy was not associated with an increased risk in the population as a whole (odds ratio 1.18; 95% confidence interval, 0.86-1.61), although a significant increased risk at high doses (≥1000 mg/day: odds ratio 2.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.25-3.49; <1000 mg: odds ratio 0.76; 95% confidence interval, 0.45-1.26) compared with nonuse was observed. The sensitivity analysis did not affect the inferences, with similar results observed among new users as to the overall study population.

This study suggests that calcium supplements given as monotherapy at high doses may increase the risk of ischemic stroke, whereas their combination with vitamin D seems to offset this hazard.

PMID: 28522672 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.117.005795

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