Is vitamin D supplementation linked to increased risk for incident cardiac events?

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Takeaway

  • This study involving data from prospective UK Biobank cohort finds no association between use of vitamin D and/or calcium supplementation and increased risk for hospital admission or death after ischaemic or non-ischaemic cardiovascular events.
  • Lack of association was robust for a range of confounders and similar for both men and women.

Why this matters

  • Calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation was considered extremely safe until a study observed increased risk for myocardial infarction in older women receiving calcium supplementations.
  • With calcium/vitamin D supplementation being the major therapy for improved bone health, related cardiovascular side effects need thorough investigation.

Study design

  • 475,255 participants (median age, 57 years; 264,984 women; 210,271 men) with available data for calcium and vitamin D intake were evaluated.
  • Funding: UK Medical Research Council.

Key results

  • No association in either men or women was observed between calcium (Pwomen=.88; Pmen=.93), vitamin D (Pwomen=.51; Pmen=.63) or combined calcium/vitamin D (Pwomen=.96; Pmen=.89) supplementation and increased hospitalisation with any cardiovascular event.
  • No association was observed between calcium (Pwomen=.44; Pmen=.26), vitamin D (Pwomen=.58; Pmen=.43) or combined calcium/vitamin D (Pwomen=.88; Pmen=.25) supplementation and increased death for any cardiovascular event.
  • Results were consistent in unadjusted models and models adjusted for BMI, smoking, prior cardiac disease, alcohol, systolic BP and diabetes/cholesterol medications.

Limitations

  • Self-report assessed vitamin D and calcium supplementation.