Calcium Supplements and Myocardial Infarction: The Evidence Grows

Best Evidence Review

Charles P. Vega, MD


October 22, 2010

In This Article

Best Evidence Reference

Bolland MJ, Avenell A, Baron JA, et al. Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis.
BMJ. 2010;341:c3691.


This study was selected from Medscape Best Evidence, which uses the McMaster Online Rating of Evidence System. Of a possible top score of 7, this study was ranked as 7 for newsworthiness and 7 for relevance by clinicians who used this system.


Many physicians recommend routine supplementation with calcium for their female patients, particularly after menopause. These supplements are thought to reduce the risk for fracture with only a small risk of serious adverse events. However, the current meta-analysis suggests that calcium supplements can increase the risk for myocardial infarction. The new reality of risk vs benefit for routine calcium supplementation is discussed.


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