Do calcium supplements increase the risk of myocardial infarction?

Nanako, a fit and well 56-year-old patient recently asked for my advice. She had been taking OTC calcium supplements since the onset of menopause.

She was concerned about the risk of “heart attacks”. She brought along a printed copy of a newspaper article she had read.

This topic had recently been reported in the medical news but I realised I wasn’t really sure of the evidence.

What does the research evidence say?

Step 1: Clinical evidence resources

A visit to the Cochrane Library (http://www.thecochranelibrary.com) revealed there were no reviews on this topic. I proceeded to Trip Database (http://www.tripdatabase.com) and used the ‘PICO search’ tool:

P: women; I: calcium supplement, C: placebo, O: myocardial infarction

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