The role of calcium in health and disease

Michael L. Power, Robert P. Heaney, Heidi J. Kalkwarf, Roy M. Pitkin, John T. Repke, Reginald C. Tsang, Jay Schulkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

88 Scopus citations


Skeletal fragility at the end of the life span (osteoporosis) is a major source of morbidity and mortality. Adequate calcium intake from childhood to the end of the life span is critical for the formation and retention of a healthy skeleton. High intakes of calcium and vitamin D potentiate the bone loss prevention effects of hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women. Pregnancy and lactation are not risk factors for skeletal fragility, although lactation is associated with a transient loss of bone that cannot be prevented by calcium supplementation. Low calcium intake has been implicated in the development of hypertension, colon cancer, and premenstrual syndrome, and it is associated with low intakes of many other nutrients. Encouragement of increased consumption of calcium-rich foods has the potential to be a cost-effective strategy for reducing fracture incidence later in life and for increasing patients' dietary quality and overall health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1560-1569
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Power, M. L., Heaney, R. P., Kalkwarf, H. J., Pitkin, R. M., Repke, J. T., Tsang, R. C., & Schulkin, J. (1999). The role of calcium in health and disease. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 181(6), 1560-1569.