Phase I of the Trials of Hypertension Prevention (TOHP) was a randomized, multicenter investigation that included double-blind, placebo-controlled testing of calcium and magnesium supplementation among 698 healthy adults (10.5% blacks and 31% women) aged 30 to 54 years with high-normal diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (80 to 89 mm Hg). Very high compliance (94 to 96% by pill counts) with daily doses of 1 g of calcium (carbonate), 360 mg of magnesium (diglycine), or placebos was corroborated for the active supplements by significant net increases in all urine and serum compliance measures in white men and for urine compliance measures in white women. Overall, neither calcium nor magnesium produced significant changes in blood pressure at 3 and 6 months. Analyses stratified by baseline intakes of calcium, magnesium, sodium, or initial blood pressures also showed no effect of supplementation. These analyses suggested that calcium supplementation may have resulted in a DBP decrease in white women and that response modifiers in this subgroup might have included lower initial urinary calcium levels, urinary sodium levels, or lower body mass index. However, overall analyses indicated that calcium and magnesium supplements are unlikely to lower blood pressure in adults with high-normal DBP. The subgroup analyses, useful to formulate hypotheses, raise the possibility of a benefit to white women, which requires testing in future trials.
- blood pressure
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