Assessing calcium intake in postmenopausal women

Karen L. Plawecki, Ellen M. Evans, Mina C. Mojtahedi, Edward McAuley, Karen Chapman-Novakofski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction Because foods fortified with calcium are increasingly available, the calcium content of calcium-fortified foods may not be adequately captured in traditional assessments of dietary intake, such as dietary records analyzed with commercially available software. The primary objective of our study was to design and test a calcium-focused food frequency questionnaire (CFFFQ) including foods naturally rich in calcium and calcium-fortified foods. Secondary objectives were to review calcium sources and adequacy of intake in black and in white postmenopausal women. Methods We studied a convenience sample of 46 black and 139 white postmenopausal women (mean [SD] age 69.4 [5.8] years). Participants completed a multiple-pass interview for 24-hour recall of foods eaten and the 46-item CFFFQ. Results The correlation between measures for total daily calcium intake was moderately strong (r = 0.53, P < .001). The CFFFQ estimated greater total daily calcium intake than did the 24-hour recall (mean [SD], 1,021 [624] mg/d vs 800 [433] mg/d, P < .001). As daily calcium intake increased, the 24-hour recall increasingly underreported calcium (r = 0.41, P < .001) compared with the CFFFQ. Cross-tabulation and Χ2 analyses found that the CFFFQ had greater specificity for lower calcium intakes. For calcium classified by food groups, there was moderate correlation for dairy (r = 0.56, P < .001) and fruits (r = 0.43, P < .001). The CFFFQ overestimated mean total calcium compared with the 24-hour recall by 221 mg/d (P < .001), including within racial groups (195 mg/d for black women, P = .04, and 229 mg/d for white women, P < .001). Dairy was the primary calcium source for both groups (55% of intake for black women and 57% of intake for white women). Conclusion The CFFFQ can be used to identify postmenopausal women with inadequate calcium intakes (<800 mg/d) and to identify key sources of dietary calcium. Older black women consume less daily calcium than do older white women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA124
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Volume6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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