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CONTEXT: Vitamin D or calcium supplementation may have effects on vascular disease and cancer. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to investigate whether vitamin D or calcium supplementation affects mortality, vascular disease, and cancer in older people. DESIGN AND SETTING: The study included long-term follow-up of participants in a two by two factorial, randomized controlled trial from 21 orthopedic centers in the United Kingdom. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 5292 people (85% women) aged at least 70 yr with previous low-trauma fracture. INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomly allocated to daily vitamin D(3) (800 IU), calcium (1000 mg), both, or placebo for 24-62 months, with a follow-up of 3 yr after intervention. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All-cause mortality, vascular disease mortality, cancer mortality, and cancer incidence were evaluated. RESULTS: In intention-to-treat analyses, mortality [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.93; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.85-1.02], vascular disease mortality (HR = 0.91; 95% CI = 0.79-1.05), cancer mortality (HR = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.68-1.06), and cancer incidence (HR = 1.07; 95% CI = 0.92-1.25) did not differ significantly between participants allocated vitamin D and those not. All-cause mortality (HR = 1.03; 95% CI = 0.94-1.13), vascular disease mortality (HR = 1.07; 95% CI = 0.92-1.24), cancer mortality (HR = 1.13; 95% CI = 0.91-1.40), and cancer incidence (HR = 1.06; 95% CI = 0.91-1.23) also did not differ significantly between participants allocated calcium and those not. In a post hoc statistical analysis adjusting for compliance, thus with fewer participants, trends for reduced mortality with vitamin D and increased mortality with calcium were accentuated, although all results remain nonsignificant. CONCLUSIONS: Daily vitamin D or calcium supplementation did not affect mortality, vascular disease, cancer mortality, or cancer incidence.

Original publication




Journal article


J clin endocrinol metab

Publication Date





614 - 622


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Calcium, Cause of Death, Cholecalciferol, Dietary Supplements, Drug Combinations, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Mortality, Neoplasms, Osteoporotic Fractures, Placebos, Time Factors, Vascular Diseases