High Levels of Calcium in Blood and Urine Seen in Older Women Given Supplements — Physician’s First Watch
High Levels of Calcium in Blood and Urine Seen in Older Women Given Supplements
By Kelly Young
Hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria are common in older women taking vitamin D and calcium supplements, according to a prospective study in Menopause.
Roughly 150 postmenopausal white women who were insufficient in vitamin D were randomized to receive vitamin D3 (400–4800 IU/day) or placebo. In addition, all participants were given calcium citrate supplements based on their dietary calcium intake, with a goal of 1200 mg of calcium daily.
Over a year, 9% of women developed hypercalcemia, and nearly a third developed hypercalciuria, with little overlap between the two groups. There was no association between the dose of vitamin D and hypercalcemia or hypercalciuria. Both conditions were observed in women taking placebo plus calcium, leading the authors to caution that "even a modest calcium supplementation of 600 mg/day may be too high for some women."