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Maturitas. 2015 Jul;81(3):377-83. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.04.007. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

Calcium and vitamin D supplementation do not influence menopause-related symptoms: Results of the Women's Health Initiative Trial.

Author information

  • 1Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, 3800 N. Interstate Ave., Portland, OR 97227, United States. Electronic address:
  • 2Stanford University, Department of Medicine, 1070 Arastradero Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States.
  • 3University of Buffalo, 12 Capen Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, United States.
  • 4Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, 3800 N. Interstate Ave., Portland, OR 97227, United States.
  • 5Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 900 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd floor, Boston, MA 02115, United States.
  • 6University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Department of Preventive Medicine, 66 N. Pauline, Suite 633, Memphis, TN 38163, United States.
  • 7University of Hawaii, 2500 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, United States.
  • 8Stanford University School of Medicine, Medical School Office Building, 1265 Welch Rd, Room X308, Mail code: 5411, Stanford, CA 94305-5411, United States.



It is unknown whether supplementation with calcium and vitamin D has an impact on menopause-related symptoms.


As part of the Women's Health Initiative Calcium/Vitamin D Supplementation Trial (CaD), women were randomized at 40 clinical sites to elemental calcium carbonate 1000 mg with vitamin D 400 IU daily or placebo. At the CaD baseline visit (year 1 or year 2) and during a mean follow-up of 5.7 years, participants provided data on menopause-related symptoms via questionnaires. Generalized linear mixed effects techniques were used to address research questions.


After excluding participants with missing data (N=2125), we compared menopause-related symptoms at follow-up visits of 17,101 women randomized to CaD with those of 17,056 women given the placebo. Women in the CaD arm did not have a different number of symptoms at follow-up compared to women taking the placebo (p=0.702). Similarly, there was no difference between sleep disturbance, emotional well-being, or energy/fatigue at follow-up in those who were randomized to CaD supplementation compared to those taking the placebo.


Our data suggest that supplementation with 1000 mg of calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D does not influence menopause-related symptoms over an average of 5.7 years of follow-up among postmenopausal women with an average age of 64 at the WHI baseline visit.


Calcium; Hot flashes; Menopause; Mood; Sleep; Vitamin D

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