Research Papers

Sufficient Calcium Levels Shown to Reduce Risk of All-Cause Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer


Sufficient calcium levels are essential for many physiological processes and preventing chronic conditions, particularly for maintaining bone health. Associations between sufficient calcium intake and reduced risk of disease in the general population has been well documented, however little is known about calcium in relation to specific populations such as people with hypertension. This paper is a prospective cohort study including 8,534 adults with hypertension, aimed at assessing the role of calcium in this cohort. The findings suggested that elevated dietary calcium was associated with lower risk of death, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The findings also revealed that dietary calcium intake between 1000 and 1200 mg per day in people with hypertension may be effective at decreasing risk of premature death.

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Association between calcium intake and premature mortality in the general population has been well studied, but little is known about the association among specific populations. The authors aim to evaluate the association among people with hypertension and to provide a proper reference range of dietary calcium intake. This prospective cohort study included 8534 US adults with hypertension from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles 2003–2014. Dietary calcium intakes were self-reported and mortality status was ascertained by National Death Index records. During a median follow-up of 5.9 years, 1357 death occurred. Compared with participants of dietary calcium intake in quintile 1, participants in quintiles 2 and 4 had a 27% (HR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.60–0.89) and a 29% lower risk (HR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.57–0.88) of all-cause mortality respectively. The authors also observed a 34% lower risk (HR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.45–0.97) of CVD death among participants in quintile 3 and a 37% lower risk (HR: 0.63, 95% CI: 0.40–0.99) of cancer-related death in participants in quintile 4 respectively. Restricted cubic spline (RCS) regression revealed a consistent protective effect of dietary calcium in participants with a daily intake of over 1000 mg, but a daily intake over 1200 mg fails to show further protective effect. Our findings suggest that elevated dietary calcium was associated with lower mortality risk from all-causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer, and supplying sufficient dietary calcium intake, between 1000 and 1200 mg per day, in people with hypertension may be considered cost-effective to decrease risk of premature death.

Article Publication Date: 13/04/2023
DOI: 10.1111/jch.14657

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