Chelation therapy doesn't alter quality of life in heart attack patients

November 5, 2012

Chelation therapy didn't change the ability to perform daily tasks or impact the emotional wellbeing of patients who previously suffered a heart attack, according to late-breaking clinical trial research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012.

There was no impact on patient's quality of life in this sub-study although the overall Trial to Assess Chelation (TACT) showed chelation therapy cut the risk of death, second heart attacks, stroke and the need for among some who already suffered an earlier .

This quality-of-life study was a planned analysis of 911 randomly chosen patients from the overall trial of chelation therapy, an which uses weekly infusions to remove metals from the bloodstream.

"We didn't see any effect on the quality of life of chelation therapy patients," said Daniel B. Mark, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the sub-study and professor of medicine, director of outcomes research at Duke University Medical Center and Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C. "Patients weren't any worse, but they weren't any better.

One of the tools used to measure quality of life was the Duke Activity Status Index, DASI, to measure patients' ability to complete daily tasks. The lowest score of 0 means the patient couldn't do any chores associated with their own care such as feeding, toileting and dressing themselves. The highest score of 48 would be achieved by a professional athlete, Mark said.

At the beginning of the study, patients taking chelation therapy had a score of 24.6 and after two years it went up to 27.1. Those on placebo, dummy infusions that contained no medicine, had a baseline score of 23.5 that went up to 25.1. The small difference between chelation and placebo wasn't significant enough to show a notable impact on how patients functioned in their daily lives.

The results were similar when researchers used the SF-36, the Short Form , which assesses mental wellbeing or stress. After two years of chelation or placebo, patients reported similar scores.

"We thought it might make people feel better, but we didn't see that consistently enough," Mark said.

The main study examined the effectiveness of chelation therapy, which isn't approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat heart disease, but has long been used as an alternative treatment. It is approved, however as a prescription treatment for heavy metal poisoning such as mercury and lead poisoning.

Explore further: Alternative therapy produces intriguing results in some heart patients but many questions remain

More information: newsroom.heart.org/pr/aha/document/DISCLOSURES.pdf

Related Stories

Alternative therapy produces intriguing results in some heart patients but many questions remain

November 5, 2012
Heart attack  patients given weekly infusions of chemicals used for chelation therapy had fewer cardiovascular events than those who received identical appearing placebo infusions, according to late-breaking clinical trial ...

Recommended for you

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?

July 18, 2017
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat

July 17, 2017
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the ...

Concerns over side effects of statins stopping stroke survivors taking medication

July 17, 2017
Negative media coverage of the side effects associated with taking statins, and patients' own experiences of taking the drugs, are among the reasons cited by stroke survivors and their carers for stopping taking potentially ...

Study discovers anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

July 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.

Protein may protect against heart attack

July 14, 2017
DDK3 could be used as a new therapy to stop the build-up of fatty material inside the arteries

Heart study finds faulty link between biomarkers and clinical outcomes

July 14, 2017
Surrogate endpoints (biomarkers), which are routinely used in clinical research to test new drugs, should not be trusted as the ultimate measure to approve new health interventions in cardiovascular medicine, according to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.