Treatment might help prevent second heart attack for people with diabetes

March 02, 2017 06:00 PM

GLENS FALLS - Chelation therapy is getting a close look as a way to prevent a second heart attack in people with diabetes. One of the study sites is in Glens Falls.   

"Diabetes has run in the family for years and years," noted Chuck Barton.

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The 73-year-old didn't escape his family history. He also had a heart attack.

Marilyn Schwartz has a similar story, both suffering diabetes and surviving a heart attack.

"I have a lot of grandchildren. I'd like to live long enough to spend a lot of time with them," she pointed out.

That's why Barton, Schwartz and Glenn Hunt, also diabetic and a heart attack survivor, are taking part in a new study. It's evaluating the role chelation therapy may play in preventing a second heart attack in people suffering diabetes.

Started in December, the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy, TACT 2 study - follows up on TACT 1, which yielded promising results for people like Barton, Hunt and Schwartz.

"They had such a powerful benefit in the patients with diabetes in the first study. They had a 40 to 50 percent reduction in their risk of a second heart attack. There's no medicine in medicine that can do that," pointed out Dr. Andrew Garner, who is working on the TACT 2 study.

Chelation therapy works like this: The man made amino acid, disodium EDTA is delivered intravenously. It binds with heavy metals like lead and iron in the blood and is excreted through urine.

In TACT 2, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, study participants who have diabetes and survived a heart attack will get either chelation therapy alone, chelation with vitamins, or just a placebo. It's double-blind meaning no one knows who's getting what - the best way to test a therapy.

"That's how you do proper science and that's what's so beautiful about this, we're going to have a trial that's well done. Duke is involved, Columbia University, Mt. Sinai in Miami," explained Dr. Garner.

Some 40 sites in all, including Dr. Garner's medical practice are involved. The goal is to enroll 1,200 people nationwide. Study participants will get 40 treatments over the year.

"If we can do anything that will help that, I think that's positive," noted Schwartz.

Study participants are paid $15 to cover transportation costs.

If you're interested in taking part you can contact Dr. Garner at (518) 798-9401.

More information:

Chelation Tact 2 Study


Benita Zahn

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