Doctors Debate Value of 'Fringe' Heart Treatment

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A heart disease treatment that many doctors consider fringe medicine unexpectedly showed promise in a federal study marred by controversy, causing debate about the results.

The study tested chelation, periodic intravenous infusions said to remove calcium from hardened arteries. Chelation is used to treat lead poisoning but its safety and value for heart disease are unproven.

In a study of 1,700 heart attack survivors, fewer of those getting chelation suffered heart problems in later years than others given dummy infusions.

But so many quit the study that the results are unclear. Doctors say chelation cannot be recommended yet.

Results were discussed Sunday at a heart conference in California.

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