Dietary calcium lowers the age-related rise in blood pressure in the United States: the NHANES III survey

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). Mar-Apr 2003;5(2):122-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-6175.2003.00963.x.


This analysis of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) was designed to investigate the impact of dietary calcium intake on age-related changes in blood pressure and pulse pressure. Data on 17,030 participants 20 years or older (mean age, 48.8+/-0.2 years; 47% male, 42% Caucasian, and 28% African American) were used. Data included demographics, body mass index, blood pressure, and daily dietary calcium. Overall, average calcium intake was 761 mg/day. After adjusting for demographic and anthropomorphic variables, as well as total energy consumption, higher calcium intake was associated with lower rates of age-related increases of systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure (p<0.001). If the calcium intake of the general population were to increase to above 1200 mg, the incidence of isolated systolic hypertension in the elderly might be decreased.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Calcium, Dietary / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States


  • Calcium, Dietary