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Dietary calcium and hypertension

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • an analysis of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) was designed to investigate the impact of dietary calcium intake on age-related changes in blood pressure and pulse pressure
    • data on 17,030 participants 20 years or older (mean age, 48.8+/-0.2 years; 47% male, 42% Caucasian, and 28% African American) were used
    • other data included demographics, body mass index, blood pressure, and daily dietary calcium
    • analysis
      • after adjustment for demographic and anthropomorphic variables, as well as total energy consumption, higher calcium intake was associated with lower rates of age-related increases of systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure (p<0.001)
    • the study authors concluded
      • if the calcium intake of the general population were to increase to above 1200 mg, the incidence of isolated systolic hypertension in the elderly might be decreased
  • a systematic review concluded that:
    • "..An increase in calcium intake slightly reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in normotensive people, particularly in young people, suggesting a role in the prevention of hypertension. The effect across multiple prespecified subgroups and a possible dose response effect reinforce this conclusion. Even small reductions in blood pressure could have important health implications for reducing vascular disease. A 2 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure is predicted to produce about 10% lower stroke mortality and about 7% lower mortality from ischaemic heart disease.."


  1. Hajjar IM et al. Dietary Calcium Lowers the Age-Related Rise in Blood Pressure in the United States: The NHANES III Survey. J Clin Hypertens (2003); 5(2):122-126
  2. Cormick G et al. Calcium supplementation for prevention of primary hypertension. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2022, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD010037. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010037.pub4

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