HealthDay News — Daily calcium and vitamin D supplements did not relieve the frequency or severity of joint symptoms in postmenopausal women, study findings indicate.
There no statistically significant differences for joint pain frequency (74.6% vs. 75.1%, P=0.79, respectively), joint swelling frequency (34.6% vs. 32.4%, P=0.29, respectively) or in severity scores for either outcome, among patient taking calcium and vitamin D supplements compared with placebo, Rowan T. Chlebowski, MD, PhD, from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., and colleagues reported in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
They examined a 6% subgroup of 1,911 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative who were assessed for serial joint symptoms, and assessed the affect of 1,000 mg calcium carbonate and 400 IU vitamin D-3 on pain and swelling using questionnaires at baseline and two years after randomization.
At baseline, total calcium and vitamin D intakes from diet and supplements as well as joint pain and swelling were similar between the two groups. Joint pain was reported by 73% of participants; 34% reported joint swelling.
After two years of follow-up, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups for joint pain frequency, joint swelling frequency or in severity scores for either outcome, the researchers found.
A subgroup analyses suggested that study participants also using non-protocol calcium supplements at baseline may have less joint pain with supplement group randomization (interaction P= 0.02).
“Daily supplementation with 1,000 mg calcium carbonate and 400 IU vitamin D-3 in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial setting did not reduce the self-reported frequency or severity of joint symptoms,” the researchers concluded.