Calcium intake is known to be associated with the risk of having metabolic syndrome. However, the previous studies did not take into account the fact that intestinal absorption and urinary excretion of calcium are estrogen dependent, and intestinal absorption efficiency and renal conservation of calcium deteriorate after menopause. Therefore, we performed a menopause status-specific analysis of the association between calcium intake and metabolic syndrome.
A total of 9,341 participants (4,118 men, 3,359 premenopausal women, and 1,864 postmenopausal women) from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001 and 2005 were included in the study.
Calcium and energy intake were significantly higher in men than in women and were lowest in postmenopausal women. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, postmenopausal women with calcium intake in the fourth quartile had a lower risk of having metabolic syndrome (odds ratio, 0.637; 95% CI, 0.452-0.898) compared with women with intake in the first quartile after adjustment for age, body mass index, marital status, education level, alcohol intake, smoking history, exercise, hormone therapy use, and energy intake. However, no association was detected in men and premenopausal women.
Calcium intake is inversely associated with the risk of having metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women. Prospective or longitudinal studies concerning sex and menopause status are necessary to evaluate an association between calcium intake and metabolic syndrome.