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Statement from NHLBI Director Gary H. Gibbons, M.D.

Embargoed for Release:
November 4, 2012, 7:36 PM EST

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) congratulates the principal investigators and scientific team carrying out the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT).

Between 2002 and 2007, use of chelation therapy grew by nearly 68 percent to 111,000 people -- despite there being no evidence as to its safety or efficacy. Given that so many people are trying chelation therapy, it was imperative that a large-scale and very rigorous study be undertaken. The NHLBI is proud to have helped fund such a project.

Preliminary results, which will be released during the American Heart Association’s 2012 Scientific Sessions, found that a chelation regimen is safe in the context of a clinical trial and suggest that there may be benefits in some patients with coronary heart disease. However, further research is needed, including replication of the results and research to determine whether the intervention can be safely and reliably delivered in a general practice setting, before chelation can be considered as a potential mainstream treatment option.

Because the study manuscript is currently under peer review, the NHLBI will refrain from further comment on the results until publication.