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Calcium plus vitamin D may reduce hip fracture risk

Published on

13 February 2013

According to a new US data analysis, daily doses of calcium and vitamin D may reduce the rate of hip fracture by almost 40%.

This study analyzed data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a randomized controlled trial which involved 36,282 postmenopausal women who received either 1,000 mg of elemental calcium carbonate plus 400 IU of vitamin D3 or a placebo daily for an average if seven years. The initial analysis of the data in 2006 reported that in the 59% of the participants who actually adhered to the supplementation program, the num-ber of fractures was 29% lower compared to the placebo group (1). The new analysis showed that, among women not taking calcium or vitamin D supplements at the start of the study, the risk of hip fracture occur-rence was 38% lower compared to the placebo group (2). In addition, when data from the WHI clinical trial and the WHI prospective observational study were combined, the risk was 35% lower.

The researchers commented that long-term use of calcium and vitamin D appears to confer a reduction that may be substantial in the risk of hip fracture among postmenopausal women. While there was no link obser-ved between vitamin D and calcium supplementation and cardiovascular outcomes, the researchers also cautiously reported that there was a suggestion of a lower risk of breast cancer and total cancer among supplement users.


  1. Jackson R. D. et al. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of fractures. New England Journal of Medicine. 2006; 354(7):669-683.
  2. Prentice R. L. et al. Health risks and benefits from calcium and vitamin D supplementation: Women's Health Initiative clinical trial and cohort study. Osteoporosis International. 2013; 24(2):567-580.

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