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Older women who take calcium 'may be at higher risk of heart attack'

Older women who take calcium 'may be at higher risk of heart attack'
20th April 2011

Calcium supplements have been seen to increase the risk of cardiovascular events in older women, which could put individuals at a greater need of assisted living.

Heart attacks, in particular, have been associated with taking calcium supplements, according to the research published on bmj.com.

The supplements are typically prescribed to postmenopausal women to manage osteoporosis.

An analysis of Women's Health Initiative findings by University of Auckland researchers revealed that women who combined calcium and vitamin D supplements were at a higher risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event.

However Professors Bo Abrahamsen and Opinder Sahota, in an accompanying editorial, advocate further studies.

"It is not possible to provide reassurance that calcium supplements given with vitamin D do not cause adverse cardiovascular events or to link them with certainty to increased cardiovascular risk," they write.

Meanwhile, a study published in the European Heart Journal has found that increased blood pressure levels could predict a major cardiovascular event in patients who have a high heart risk.

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