SUNDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- There's mixed news from a much-anticipated clinical trial for people who've suffered a heart attack: While a study found that daily high doses of vitamins and minerals did nothing to improve patient outcomes, there was a hint that controversial "chelation" therapy might.
Still, the lead researcher said he's not ready to recommend chelation therapy, in which doctors give patients high-dose vitamins along with special infusions that seek to leach heavy metals from the body.
"These findings should stimulate further research, but are not by themselves sufficient to recommend the routine use of chelation therapy and high-dose vitamins in most patients," said Dr. Gervasio Lamas, chief of the Columbia University Division of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in Miami Beach, Fla.
The trial, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, looked at whether chelation therapy might help patients who'd suffered a heart attack. The findings were presented Sunday at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) annual meeting, in San Francisco.
The expensive treatment, which involves dozens of arduous infusions conducted over a period of years, has been offered by certain clinics for decades but has yet to gain U.S. Food and Drug administration approval for heart patients.
However, its reputation got a boost in November when preliminary results from the same trial were presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association. Those results did show a modest benefit from chelation therapy for some patients.
The trial involved more than 1,700 patients from the United States and Canada who had suffered a prior heart attack. Most were already taking standard therapies such as daily aspirin, cholesterol-lowering statins or blood pressure medications.
Because chelation therapy also involves daily high-dose vitami
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