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Editor's Choice

Hard cases

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 27 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2641
  1. Tony Delamothe, deputy editor, BMJ
  1. tdelamothe{at}

One of the more controversial papers we’ve published recently was a meta-analysis of the cardiovascular effects of calcium supplements by Mark Bolland and others (BMJ 2010;341:c3691). It reported that calcium supplements without co-administered vitamin D were associated with an increased incidence of myocardial infarction. The researchers called for a reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the management of osteoporosis. Many respondents were unhappy about the paper, and those with commercial interests in the supplement industry were the unhappiest of all.

Less than a year later, Bolland’s team is back, having re-analysed a large randomised controlled trial of calcium and vitamin D supplementation and updated its earlier meta-analysis on the topic (doi:10.1136/bmj.d2040). The general findings—and the researchers’ message—are the same. Editorialists Bo Abrahamsen …

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