Van der Vijver L P L (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Agricultural University Wageningen, PO Box 238, 6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands), van der Waal M A E, Wetenngs K G C, Dekker J M, Schouten E G and Kok F J. Calcium intake and 28-year cardiovascular and coronary heart disease mortality in Dutch civil servants. International Journal of Epidemiology 1992; 21: 36–39.

Data obtained from a general health examination in 1953–1954 of 2605 middle-aged Dutch civil servants were analysed to investigate the relation between dietary calcium and cardiovascular )CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality. Calcium intake was assessed at baseline by a 1-week food frequency recall. Multivariate adjusted odds ratios (OR) were calculated using the highest quintile of calcium intake as the reference. No statistically significant associations were observed for low calcium intake in 15 and 28 years of follow-up in both men and women. For men, multivariate adjusted OR for the lowest quintile of calcium intake were 1.3(95% confIdence interval (CI): 0.8–1.9) and 0.9(95% CI: 0.6–1.6) for 28-year CVD and CHD mortality, respectively. For women, corresponding OR were 1.1 (95% CI: 0.6–2.0) and 1.1 (95% CI: 0.5–2.5).

Although an inverse association between calcium intake and CVD and CHD mortality, possibly mediated by blood pressure, might be hypothesized, no clear association was observed. Because dietary patterns in the 1950s were quite stable, and major calcium sources were addressed, misclassification of calcium intake may not be fully responsible for this finding.

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