Not getting enough dietary calcium may leave women more vulnerable to high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke resulting from malfunctioning parathyroid glands, according to a study of almost 60,000 women.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston tracked 58,354 U.S. women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study I and found that those who consumed the least calcium had the highest risk of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). Women in the group with the highest intake of dietary calcium had a 44 percent reduced risk of developing PHPT compared with the group with the lowest intake.
PHPT affects one in 800 people during their lifetime. It is most common in post-menopausal women between 50 and 60 years of age. The condition, which results from an overactive parathyroid glands secreting too much parathyroid hormone, can also lead to weak bones, fractures and kidney stones.