PURPOSE: Calcium, which is one the most abundant mineral elements in the body, has been suggested to be involved in blood pressure regulation. We aimed to assess the association of active serum calcium (which is the ionised and physiologically active form of serum calcium) with the future risk of hypertension.
METHODS: The active serum calcium concentration was assessed at baseline in the Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease population-based prospective cohort study of 1562 normotensive men aged 42-61 years at baseline. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals (CIs)) for incident hypertension.
RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 24.9 years, 247 men developed new-onset hypertension. Active serum calcium was inversely associated with incident hypertension in an approximately linear fashion. In age-adjusted analysis, the hazard ratio for hypertension per 1 standard deviation increase in active serum calcium was 0.86 (95% CI 0.76-0.98), which remained consistent after adjustment for several established risk factors and potential confounders 0.82 (0.71-0.94). In a comparison of extreme quintiles of active serum calcium levels, the corresponding adjusted hazard ratios were 0.59 (95% CI 0.39-0.90) and 0.54 (95% CI 0.35-0.82), respectively.
CONCLUSION: Active serum calcium is protective of future hypertension in a middle-aged male Caucasian population. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and help unravel the mechanistic pathways of calcium in the pathogenesis of hypertension.