Hypercalcemia (Elevated Calcium Levels)

  • Medical Author:
    Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)

    Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is an Attending Physician with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Associate Director of Clinical Research, Recruitment and Phenotyping with the Center for Androgen Related Disorders, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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What are the causes of hypercalcemia?

One of the most common causes of high calcium levels (hypercalcemia), is an overproduction of parathyroid hormone, or hyperparathyroidism.

  • Hyperparathyroidism tends to be more common in women over 50.
  • It can be the result of all four parathyroid glands producing too much PTH (parathyroid hyperplasia), or one gland specifically producing an excessive amount of hormone (usually the result of a parathyroid adenoma, or benign tumor).

Hypercalcemia can occur due to other medical conditions. These conditions can vary in severity and chronicity, and may be life-threatening. Malignancy is a common cause of elevated blood calcium. Up to 20% of individuals with cancer will develop hypercalcemia at some point in their disease.

Other conditions associated with hypercalcemia include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/7/2015

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