(HealthDay News) -– Women consuming higher levels of calcium are at lower risk of primary hyperparathyroidism, according to a study published online Oct. 18 in BMJ.

Julie M. Paik, M.D., from Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 58,354 female registered nurses participating in the Nurses’ Health Study I (aged 39 to 66 years in 1986) and with no history of primary hyperparathyroidism. Semiquantitative questionnaires on food frequency were used to assess calcium intake. Incident primary hyperparathyroidism was assessed with medical record review.

The researchers found that, over 22 years of follow-up, there were 277 incident cases of primary hyperparathyroidism. There was significantly lower risk of primary hyperparathyroidism for women with the highest intake of dietary calcium (relative risk [RR], 0.56), compared with women with the lowest intake, even after adjusting for other factors. For women taking more than 500 mg/day of calcium supplements, compared with no calcium supplements, the RR was 0.41 (P < 0.001 for trend). The association between calcium intake and risk of primary hyperparathyroidism was not altered when the analysis was restricted to participants with regular physical exams.

“Increased calcium intake is independently associated with a reduced risk of primary hyperparathyroidism in women,” the authors write.

Full Text
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)