Chelation Therapy for Heart Disease Continues to Divide Opinions

At the American Heart Association (AHA) 2012 Scientific Sessions held earlier this month, the results of a  randomized clinical trial—The Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT)—were unveiled showing that chelation therapy had benefits for heart disease patients.

Study Highlights:
  • Patients with prior heart attacks enrolled in a clinical trial of a weekly chelation infusion regiment that included disodium EDTA and vitamin C had fewer cardiovascular disease complications than those who received placebo infusions.
  • Chelation therapy removes heavy metals like lead and iron from the body. Disodium EDTA, the agent used in the study, does not have an FDA indication.
  • Investigators caution that the results need to be reproduced and understood before consideration of clinical application.

Chelation therapy is used to remove metals from the bloodstream. The more common calcium EDTA is approved to treat lead poisoning and other chelation drugs are used to manage iron overload following repeated blood transfusions. There has been decades-long debate about whether chelation therapy could be effective as a treatment for patients with atherosclerosis, or fatty deposits in arteries that can cause heart attacks. Until now, there have been no large, long-term clinical trials to determine if these intravenous infusions might work for patients with coronary artery disease.

 

“This study is shaking up thinking,” Dr. George Wyse of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta tells CTVNews. He was part of a Canadian study of chelation presented in 2001 that suggested the therapy didn’t help patients.
“I think we were all surprised,” he added. “It was like opening a door and throwing a hand grenade in and closing the door. Now we have to explain why the results are the way (they) are and I think it will lead to more research.”

Watch the video for more or read these related news articles

“Alternative Heart Disease Therapy has Benefits, study shows” CTVNews.ca

“NIH Trial Gives Surprising Boost to Chelation Therapy” Forbes
“Chelation Trial results come under fire” Nature.com

“Much-Debated Treatment for Heart Disease Shows Slight Benefit in Clinical Trial” New York Times

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3 thoughts on “Chelation Therapy for Heart Disease Continues to Divide Opinions

  1. Pingback: Chelation Therapy for Heart Disease Continues to Divide Opinions « Usman Sattar blog

  2. I remember this patient who paid $2,000 for chelation therapy. 6 months later he had a heart attack and needed revascularization. The benefit is temporary, at best.

  3. “Chelation Therapy for Heart Disease Continues to Divide
    Opinions | Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta” ended
    up being really compelling and useful! Within the present
    day world that’s very hard to do. Many thanks, Teena

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