August 24, 2007
PENRITH, AustraliaCalcium supplements, either alone or in combination with vitamin D, are an effective preventive treatment for osteoporosis in older adults, according to a new meta-analysis published in The Lancet (2007;370:657-66)(DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61342-7). Researchers from the University of Sydney identified 29 randomized trials (n=63,897) that included people over age 50, with primary outcomes of fractures and percentage change of bone mineral density (BMD) from baseline. In trials that reported fracture as an outcome (17 trials, n=52,625), supplementation was associated with a 12-percent risk reduction in all types of fractures; fracture risk reduction was significantly greater (24 percent) in trials reporting high compliance. Trials using BMD as a primary outcome (23 trials, n=41,419) found supplementation could reduce the rate of bone loss of 0.54 percent at the hip and 1.19 percent in the spine. Treatment effects were also greater when supplementation was at least 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D.
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