(HealthDay News) – For women, high intake of calcium (>1,400mg/day) is associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in BMJ.

Karl Michaëlsson, MD, PhD, from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues conducted a prospective longitudinal cohort study involving 61,433 women, followed for a median of 19 years, to examine the correlation between long-term intake of dietary and supplemental calcium and all-cause and cardiovascular disease death.

The researchers found that there were non-linear risk patterns associated with dietary calcium intake, with higher rates seen for the highest intake (≥1,400mg per day). Compared with 600–1,000mg intake per day, intake >1,400mg per day correlated with significantly increased risk of all-cause death (hazard ratio [HR], 1.40), cardiovascular disease death (HR, 1.49), and ischemic heart disease death (HR, 2.14), but not stroke-related death (HR, 0.73; 95% confidence interval, 0.33–1.65). After sensitivity analysis there was no longer any indication of an increased risk of death with low dietary calcium intake (<600mg/day). Calcium tablet use was, on average, not linked to all-cause or cause-specific mortality, but users with intake >1,400mg per day had a hazard ratio of 2.57 for all-cause mortality.

“High calcium intakes were associated with higher rates of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease,” the authors write. “Mortality was not increased between 600 and 1,400mg/day of total calcium intake, the most customary levels of intake in this setting.”

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