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In the large UK Biobank cohort we found no evidence of any association between use of calcium/vitamin D supplements and future cardiac events such as myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Osteoporosis, fractures and cardiovascular risk
Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), and ischaemic heart disease (narrowing of arteries in the heart) are both common conditions associated with an enormous burden of ill health and decreased survival across the population. Recent studies have suggested that people who have osteoporosis are more likely to have narrowing of their arteries and are also likely to die earlier than those who do not. However such studies have usually been small and unable to investigate potential underlying mechanisms. We will use the whole UK Biobank cohort to initially explore the relationships between baseline measures of bone density (heel ultrasound), and risk factors for heart attacks and strokes such as blood pressure, pulse wave velocity and aortic stiffness and pre-existing heart disease, whilst controlling for other factors such as coexisting disease, medications, lifestyle, physical activity and family history. We will then investigate, when the assay results become available, whether these relationships are mediated via markers of chronic inflammation and other factors such as vitamin D and sex-hormone levels. We will also request data on new cardiovascular events such that after 5 years, longitudinal associations can be explored.