Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from the Applicant's Abstract): Postmenopausal
osteoporosis is a condition of excessive skeletal fragility which results in
low impact fractures. The best studied measurable determinant of skeletal
fragility is low bone mass. One of the easily correctable, non-genetic
determinants of bone loss is calcium nutritional deficiency, particularly for
older women for whom secondary hyperparathyroidism is considered to be
universal. Calcium nutritional deficiency may be due to low dietary calcium as
well as low 25(OH)D which promotes calcium absorption. Numerous reports
demonstrating a bone sparing effect, and a few reports demonstrating an
anti-fracture effect of increasing calcium intake among vitamin D replete women
strongly support the hypotheses that increasing calcium intake among vitamin D
intake benefits bone health in older women. Small scale intervention studies
have shown that older women who consume calcium intakes up to 2400mg/d have a
reversal of secondary hyperparathyroidism and experience no adverse effects due
to the "high", in terms of the American diet, calcium intake. Despite these
data, the behavior of many in the scientific community indicates doubt about
the therapeutic value of calcium. The proposed study is designed to test
whether calcium supplementation alone (1500mg/d) or calcium 1500mg/d) plus
vitamin D (800IU/d) reduces the incidence of fractures, eliminates secondary
hyperparathyroidism, and halts bone loss in a population-based sample of women
60+ years of age. An Achilles heel for intervention trials is the problem of
subject compliance. This study will use an electronic monitoring system to
track the number of time the treatment bottle is opened. This compliance
measure will be used, not only to determine the amount of medication taken, but
as a method to counsel the study subjects regarding protocol problems. This is
a valid method to determine compliance, far superior to the traditional pill
counts, and thus a substantial aid to measure the anti-fracture efficacy of
calcium alone or calcium plus vitamin D interventions.
Effective start/end date9/30/996/30/06


  • National Institute on Aging: $609,101.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $478,437.00
  • National Institute on Aging
  • National Institute on Aging: $497,755.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $487,274.00


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