Studies offer hope for people with heart damage from diet drugs

Wednesday, December 1st 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Minneapolis-AP) -- Three new studies are offering some reassurance to people who took the diet drug combination "fen-phen" or a related weight-loss drug.

The studies suggest that the leaky heart valves many of them suffered won't get worse -- and may improve.

About six (m) million people used "fen-phen" or a related drug known as Redux (REE'-dux) until they were pulled off the market in 1997.

A study published today in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings looks at patients who took fen-phen. Another study in the Journal of the
American College of Cardiology deals with people who took Redux alone. A recent study on Redux in Circulation, the journal of the
American Heart Association, reached similar conclusions.

But the author of one of the studies cautions that longer-term studies are needed before anyone can say for sure whether heart
damage from diet drugs might go away.