Oral calcium supplements do not affect the progression of aortic valve calcification or coronary artery calcification

Mayurkumar Bhakta, Charles Bruce, David Messika-Zeitoun, Lawrence Bielak, Patrick F. Sheedy, Patricia Peyser, Maurice Sarano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: The use of oral calcium supplementation among the elderly for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteopenia is increasing. The incidence of aortic valve disease and coronary artery disease also is increasing. No study thus far has been done to demonstrate whether this affects the progression of calcification in both the valves and vasculature. We sought to determine whether ingestion of oral calcium supplementation has an effect on aortic valve calcification (AVC) and coronary artery calcification (CAC). Methods: We performed an independent assessment of AVC, CAC, and calcium supplementation among patients enrolled in the Epidemiology of Coronary Artery Calcification study who were >60 years of age and had baseline and 4-year follow-up AVC data. In this population-based study of Olmsted County (Minnesota) residents, AVC and CAC scores were determined prospectively by electron beam computed tomography. We evaluated baseline demographic data and analyzed whether those patients using calcium supplementation had a higher rate of progression of both AVC and CAC. Results: We identified 257 patients (mean age, 67.8 ± 5.2 years), 144 of whom were women. Twenty-five patients (all women) reported using calcium supplements. Analysis of the 144 women (25 taking calcium supplementation) showed there was no difference in the progression of AVC (mean difference in baseline and follow-up AVC score; no supplement versus supplement, 30 ± 9 vs 39 ± 28; P = .73) or CAC (mean difference in baseline and follow-up CAC score; no supplement vs supplement, 47 ± 15 vs 112 ± 22; P = .154). There were no significant differences between the 2 groups with regard to base-line AVC, serum calcium, renal function, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, or body mass index. Conclusion: In this community-based observational study with a 4-year follow-up, no significant increased progression of AVC or CAC was found in women taking oral calcium supplementation. Larger prospective, randomized studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-616
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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