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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: TACT Study Coordinator - Comprehensive Heart Care
419-531-4235 (best on Tuesdays or Thursdays during office hours)
NEEDED FOR NATIONWIDE STUDY EXAMINING INVESTIGATIONAL
TREATMENT FOR HEART DISEASE
If you are age 50 or older and have had a heart attack, you might be eligible to take part in a government study testing the effectiveness and safety of chelation therapy, an investigational treatment for people with heart disease. The study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, is the largest of its kind. Almost 2,000 people at more than 100 medical institutions across the country will take part in the study.
Currently, 13 million Americans have heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in the United States, and in Ohio, it claims the lives of 31,338 people every year.
Chelation therapy (pronounced key-LAY-shun) is a process in which a synthetic or man-made amino acid called EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid) is delivered intravenously. EDTA binds with molecules, such as metals or minerals, and holds them tightly so that they can be removed from the body. Some people are already considering chelation therapy to treat their heart disease, despite the fact that previous studies were too small to be conclusive. However, this study is 20 times larger than previous studies and is designed to find out if chelation therapy and/or high-dose vitamin therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for people with heart disease.
“It is important for people with heart disease to know whether chelation therapy should be added to the list of proven treatments for heart disease,” said Gervasio A. Lamas, M.D., principal investigator of the study and director of cardiovascular research and academic affairs at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. “This study will help us definitively answer that critical question.”
Study researchers are now recruiting patients. They are looking for men and women age 50 and older who have had a heart attack. Those who participate will join a nationwide effort to learn whether chelation therapy works, helping the medical community find new and effective treatments for heart disease.
There is no cost to participate in the study and participants will be closely monitored to ensure they receive the optimal standard of care for their heart disease, such as vitamin supplements and advice on lifestyle and diet. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive: either chelation therapy or placebo (saline) solution and either high-dose vitamin therapy or placebo pills. All participants will also receive low-dose vitamins.
The study is co-funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, both part of the NIH, the government’s lead agency for medical research.
More information about the study is available at the NCCAM Web site at www.nccam.nih.gov/chelation or by calling 1-888-644-6226.
“I don’t want to leave any stone unturned as we look for ways to address heart disease,” said Dr. Lamas. “And I don’t think patients living with heart disease want us to either.”
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