Agustin Cerani

PhD student in Epidemiology and Biostatistics
McGill University

Award-winning publicationGenetic predisposition to increased serum calcium, bone mineral density, and fracture risk in individuals with normal calcium levels: mendelian randomisation study

Published in: British Medical Journal


Fragility fractures constitute a major public health problem. Recommendations for prevention and treatment to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and broken bones encourage the supplemental intake of calcium, which is critical in a number of biological processes, since its blood serum concentration is strictly regulated. To determine whether increased serum calcium in individuals whose calcium levels are within the normal range lowers the risk of fracture, Agustin Cerani assessed whether people with a genetic predisposition for higher serum calcium levels had greater bone mineral density (BMD). The results show that being genetically predisposed for higher serum calcium levels is not associated with increased BMD or a reduced risk of fracture. In light of these results, individuals who have normal calcium levels would not need to take a calcium supplement.