Calcium intake has been shown to be associated with beneficial effects regarding hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), vascular disease, and stroke by several prospective cohort studies. However, recent studies have questioned the beneficial cardiovascular effects of calcium intake and instead have shown that high calcium intake is associated with an increased risk for CHD and stroke. These findings have created controversy and concern among physicians, because calcium is consumed by a large number of older men and women to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Based on the methods of patient self-reporting of calcium intake and cardiovascular events, the conclusions drawn from the studies may not be entirely valid. Therefore, until more confirmatory data are available, physicians should not be dissuaded from prescribing calcium supplements to their patients. The best candidates are patients with low calcium intake, but their calcium supplementation should not exceed the recommended 1200 mg/d to 1500 mg/d.
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