Taking two popular supplements after the menopause could raise women's risk of heart attack

I have reproduced above the original headline of the article below. It is totally misleading. The research was high-quality and if you look at the the orignating journal article what you find is that "There was no overall effect on other measures, including all-cause mortality". In other words taking the pills did not help you live longer or shorten your life. The pills increased your risk of heart attacks but reduced your risk of cancer, with the two effects almost perfectly balancing one-another out. So old ladies will not be harmed by those pills. They will live just as long with or without them.

Another important inaccuracy is that the pills are not usually taken "to stave off the effects of menopause". HRT is used for that. The pills in this case are used to prevent crumbling bones. So the pills may give some comfort without killing you. That sounds like good news to me

Taking two popular supplements after the menopause could raise women's risk of heart attack, according to major 20 year study

US researchers followed more than 30,000 women for two decades. They found that those who took certain supplements had raised heart risk

Taking supplements to stave off the effects of menopause could leave you more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease, according to a landmark study involving 36,000 women.

Researchers from The US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute looked at the health outcomes of roughly 18,000 women who took daily calcium and vitamin D pills for seven years - all of whom were between the ages of 50 and 79.

They followed the women up 20 years later, and compared the incidence of heart disease and cancer to a group of a similar number who didn't take supplements in their later years.

The results, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that those who'd taken the pills - which are said to strengthen bones - had a six percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared to the other group.

However, those in the supplement arm of the study were also seven percent less likely to die from cancer.

Notably, the authors said the increased risk of cancer was only seen in those who had been taking supplements in their younger years, before the study launched.

This is the largest randomized trial of women using these supplements, according to the study's authors.


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