Connecting Calcium Supplementation to Dementia in Elderly Women
Calcium supplementation for postmenopausal women has fallen out of favor in recent years in the wake of reports of increased risk for vascular events. A new study raises fresh concerns about calcium supplementation and dementia in women suffering from cerebrovascular disease. Swedish and British researchers examined a cohort of women in Gothenburg, Sweden, including 700 dementia-free women 70-92 years of age. About 100 women were treated with calcium supplements. Of those, calcium supplementation was associated with the development of dementia in women with a history of stroke (odds ratio [OR], 6.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.36-33.75; P = 0.020) or presence of white matter lesions on CT scan (OR, 2.99; 95% CI, 1.28-6.96; P = 0.011), but not in groups without these conditions. The authors acknowledged that this is a small observational study, but their data suggest that calcium supplementation may increase the risk of developing dementia in elderly women with cerebrovascular disease. (Published online Aug. 17, 2016. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000003111 Neurology 10.1212/WNL.000000000000311)
While derived from a small sample, data suggest calcium supplementation may increase the risk of developing dementia in elderly women with cerebrovascular disease.
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