The Edinburgh Artery Study

Blood viscosity and risk of cardiovascular events

Lowe GD1, Lee AJ, Rumley A, Price JF, Fowkes FG.


We examined the relationships of whole blood viscosity and its major determinants to incident cardiovascular events (ischaemic heart disease and stroke) in a prospective study of a random population sample of 1592 men and women aged 55-74 years (the Edinburgh Artery Study). 272 fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events occurred during 5 years of follow-up (cumulative incidence 17.1%). Age and sex adjusted mean levels of blood viscosity (3.70 v 3.55 mPa.s), haematocrit (46.2 v 45.7%), haematocrit-corrected blood viscosity (3.57 v 3.48 mPa.s), plasma viscosity (1.35 v 1.33 mPa.s) and fibrinogen (2.88 v 2.67 g/l) were significantly higher in subjects who experienced events than in subjects who did not. The relationships of these rheological variables to cardiovascular events were at least as strong as those of conventional risk factors (smoking habit, diastolic blood pressure, and low-density lipoprblood-1237550-639x450otein cholesterol). After adjustment for these conventional risk factors, the associations of blood viscosity and haematocrit remained significant for stroke, but not for total events; whereas the associations of plasma viscosity and fibrinogen remained significant for total events and for stroke. These findings suggest that increased blood viscosity may be one plausible biological mechanism through which increases in haematocrit and fibrinogen may promote ischaemic heart disease and stroke. Randomized controlled trials of viscosity reduction in the prevention of cardiovascular events (e.g. by lowering high levels of haematocrit or plasma fibrinogen) are suggested.

Should EDTA chelation therapy be used instead of long-term clopidogrel plus aspirin to treat patients at risk from drug-eluting stents?

by Chappell LT, 2007red-pills-1526972-639x384

Abstract: The recently discovered increased risk of blood clots, leading to myocardial infarction and sudden death beginning six months after medicated stents are implanted in patients following percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), has left cardiologists pondering what course of action to take. The purpose of adding implanted medication to a stent is to prevent thrombin accumulation and restenosis. However, these stents may increase, rather than decrease, the risk. Although long-term treatment with clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix) plus aspirin for at least 12 months has been suggested as a preventive treatment, there is no evidence from randomized, controlled trials that this treatment is effective for more than six months. Clopidogrel also increases the risk of major bleeding episodes. The author served as the primary investigator for a study that showed cardiovascular patients treated with EDTA chelation therapy had a lower rate of subsequent cardiac events, including myocardial infarction and death, than those treated with cardiac medications, PTCA, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). The data also indicated chelation therapy might be effective in preventing thrombosis and cardiac events from stent implantation. There is evidence EDTA chelation therapy might prevent hypercoagulability resulting from the placement of stents, although not specifically medicated stents. Based on the limited data currently available, intravenous EDTA may be safe and effective for treating patients who have implanted medicated stents. Prospective clinical trials are needed, and EDTA should be included in those trials.

Oxidative DNA Damage and Lipid Peroxidation

EDTA chelation therapy, without added vitamin C, decreases oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation.

by Roussel AM1, Hininger-Favier I, Waters RS, Osman M, Fernholz K, Anderson RA.


Chelation therapy is thought to not only remove contaminating metals but also to decrease free radical production. However, in standard ethylene diamine tetracetic acid (EDTA) chelation therapy, high doses of vitamin C with potential pro-oxidant effects are often added to the chelation solution. The authors demonstrated previously that the intravenous administration of the standard chelation cocktail, containing high amounts of vitamin C, resulted in an acute transitory pro-oxidant burst that should be avoided in the treatment of pathologies at risk of increased oxidative stress such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The current study was designed to determine the acute and chronic biochemical effects of chelation therapy on accepted clinical, antioxidant variables. An EDTA chelation cocktail not containing ascorbic acid was administered to six adult patients for five weeks (10 sessions of chelation therapy); antioxidant indicators were monitored. Immediately after the initial chelation session, in contrast with the data previously reported with the standard cocktail containing high doses of vitamin C, none of the oxidative stress markers were adversely modified. After five weeks, plasma peroxide levels, monitored by malondialdehyde, decreased by 20 percent, and DNA damage, monitored by formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fpg) sensitive sites, decreased by 22 percent. Remaining antioxidant-related variables did not change. In summary, this study demonstrates that multiple sessions of EDTA chelation therapy in combination with vitamins and minerals, but without added ascorbic acid, decreases oxidative stress. These results should be beneficial in the treatment of diseases associated with increased oxidative stress such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.