Controlled trial of long-term oral calcium supplementation in essential hypertension.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of oral calcium supplementation was carried out in 18 patients with uncomplicated essential hypertension. After 15 weeks of oral calcium supplementation, 1 g/day, of the patients' habitual diet, the only blood pressure change (compared with the results of placebo treatment) was in the average standing systolic blood pressure, which was significantly reduced (-8.6 mm Hg; p less than 0.01). The 24-hour urinary calcium excretion and the total serum calcium concentration increased significantly during calcium supplementation (p less than 0.05), indicating good compliance with the treatment. The individual blood pressure changes with high calcium intake were found to be inversely related to basal 24-hour urinary calcium excretion (r = -0.69, p less than 0.001 for standing systolic pressure; r = -0.55, p less than 0.002 for standing diastolic pressure). This correlation was independent of age, basal blood pressure, serum calcium concentration, basal 24-hour urinary sodium excretion, and body weight changes during the trial. In particular, a subgroup of six patients, who had a basal 24-hour urinary calcium excretion higher than the mean + 2 SD of a reference healthy population previously described, showed a substantial average blood pressure fall at variance with the other patients in the study. These results do not support the usefulness of an oral calcium supplement in the majority of subjects with mild essential hypertension; however, they suggest that a group of patients with a previously reported abnormality of calcium metabolism may be responsive to this therapeutic measure.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association