Chelation Therapy Reduces CV Events in Elderly with Diabetes

According to data from the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT), chelation treatments reduced cardiovascular events (eg, heart attack, death) in patients with diabetes but not in those without diabetes.

RELATED: Cardiovascular Disease Resource Center

Currently, chelation therapy is not approved by the FDA to treat heart disease. However, its use to treat heart disease and other health conditions has risen by nearly 68% from 2002 to 2007, according to the 2008 National Health Statistics Report.

The TACT study enrolled 1,708 adults aged >50 years old, of whom 633 patients had diabetes. Patients were randomized to receive 40 infusions of disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) chelation solution or placebo solution. 

In addition, patients were randomized to receive high-dose oral vitamins and minerals or an identical placebo. Patients were followed for a minimum of 1 year and up to 5 years.

The initial findings (published in March 27, 2013) showed that infusions of disodium ethylene EDTA produced a statistically significant reduction in cardiovascular events in patients treated with EDTA. 

A further analysis showed that patients with diabetes were significantly impacted by chelation while patients without diabetes were not.

A 41% overall reduction in the risk of any cardiovascular event, a 40% reduction in risk of death from heart disease nonfatal stroke, or nonfatal heart attack, a 52% reduction in recurrent heart attacks, and a 43% reduction in death from any cause were seen in the patients with diabetes.

Analysis on the diabetes subgroup has been published in Circulation and presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013. Researchers noted that more studies are needed before chelation is established as treatment option.

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