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Calcium supplements not linked to heart disease in women

Posted on May 11 2014 | IANS

New York, May 11 : You can probably pop those calcium supplement pills for bones without worrying much about how they would affect your heart. A new study shows that calcium supplement intake need not necessarily increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases in women.

Previous studies had suggested that calcium supplements may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease but the data has been inconsistent.

Researchers examined supplemental calcium use and incidents of cardiovascular disease in a prospective cohort study of 74,245 women.

The women did not have cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start of the study.

They were followed for 24 years to document the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Calcium supplement intake was assessed every four years.

"Our study has several distinct strengths compared to prior studies including the large number of participants and long term follow up," said Julie Paik from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US.

The researchers found that at the start of the study, women who took calcium supplements had higher levels of physical activity, smoked less and had lower trans fat intake compared to women who did not take calcium supplements.

During the 24 years of follow up, there were 2,709 heart attacks and 1,856 strokes.

The study appeared in the journal Osteoporosis International.

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