Â It was designed to study the effects of chelation in patients who had survived a heart attack.
The study was killed after more than 2 patients died among 1500 heart attack survivors who were recruited. Itâ€™s not yet known if the deaths were related to chelation therapy.
The patient consent form didn’t disclose that people have died as a result of chelation therapy.
More than half the doctors participating as researchers were making money selling chelation treatment — a conflict of interest.
Some doctors involved in the study had been disciplined by state boards or had criminal records and were asked to drop out.
The bottom line?
When the study was approved in 2002, federal officials said many heart patients were exploring chelation therapy, and the research would give answers about whether the treatment was safe and effective.
A call to Calgary in Alberta, Canada or perusal of the Journal of the American Medical Association might have provided useful insight.
In 2002, Canadian researchers participating in the Program to Assess Alternative Treatment Strategies to Achieve Cardiac Health (PATCH) reported no benefits following 33 chelation treatments compared to placebo in 84 patients with ischemic heart disease (eg, angina pectoris, acute heart attack, and chronic ischemic heart disease).
The authors concluded, “There is no evidence to support a beneficial effect of chelation therapy in patients with ischemic heart disease, stable angina, and a positive treadmill test for ischemia.”
Less than 2 weeks ago, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) canceled a chelation study for autism.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.