Calcium/vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events

Judith Hsia*, Gerardo Heiss, Hong Ren, Matthew Allison, Nancy C. Dolan, Philip Greenland, Susan R. Heckbert, Karen C. Johnson, Joann E. Manson, Stephen Sidney, Maurizio Trevisan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

602 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND - Individuals with vascular or valvular calcification are at increased risk for coronary events, but the relationship between calcium consumption and cardiovascular events is uncertain. We evaluated the risk of coronary and cerebrovascular events in the Women's Health Initiative randomized trial of calcium plus vitamin D supplementation. METHODS AND RESULTS - We randomized 36 282 postmenopausal women 50 to 79 years of age at 40 clinical sites to calcium carbonate 500 mg with vitamin D 200 IU twice daily or to placebo. Cardiovascular disease was a prespecified secondary efficacy outcome. During 7 years of follow-up, myocardial infarction or coronary heart disease death was confirmed for 499 women assigned to calcium/vitamin D and 475 women assigned to placebo (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.18). Stroke was confirmed among 362 women assigned to calcium/vitamin D and 377 assigned to placebo (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95% confidence interval, 0.82 to 1.10). In subgroup analyses, women with higher total calcium intake (diet plus supplements) at baseline were not at higher risk for coronary events (P=0.91 for interaction) or stroke (P=0.14 for interaction) if assigned to active calcium/vitamin D. CONCLUSIONS - Calcium/vitamin D supplementation neither increased nor decreased coronary or cerebrovascular risk in generally healthy postmenopausal women over a 7-year use period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-854
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Calcium
  • Cerebrovascular disorders
  • Coronary disease
  • Stroke
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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