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Blood Pressure Response to Oral Calcium in Persons with Mild to Moderate Hypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial

DAVID A. MCCARRON, M.D.; and CYNTHIA D. MORRIS, Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: by the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust; the R. Blaine Bramble Medical Research Foundation; grant #RR00334 from the General Clinical Research Center of the U.S. Public Health Service; a research grantin-aid from Miles Laboratories, Inc., Elkhart, Indiana, and by the National Dairy Council.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to David A. McCarron, M.D.; Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Oregon Health Sciences University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road; Portland, OR 97201.


©1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(6_Part_1):825-831. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-103-6-825
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The blood pressure response of 48 hypertensive persons and 32 normotensive persons to elemental calcium (as the carbonate or citrate salt), 1000 mg/d for 8 weeks, was assessed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Compared with placebo, Ca2+ significantly lowered supine systolic blood pressure by 3.8 mm Hg, standing systolic blood pressure by 5.6 mm Hg (p < 0.02), and supine diastolic blood pressure by 2.3 mm Hg (p < 0.05) in hypertensive persons. The response in normotensive persons differed significantly from that in hypertensives (p < 0.03) as their blood pressure was unchanged. Twenty-one (44%) hypertensive and 6 (19%) normotensive persons achieved a reduction in standing systolic arterial pressure of 10 mm Hg or greater. Reported adverse effects were similar between calcium and placebo phases and did not necessitate withdrawal of any patient from the trial. Treatment with 1000 mg/d of oral Ca2+ for 8 weeks represents a safe, well-tolerated, nonpharmacologic intervention that lowers blood pressure in selected patients with mild to moderate hypertension.

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