New Fen-Phen study finds heart valve disease may improve after stopping the drugs

November 30, 1999

Satellite News Conference
B-roll, soundbites and audio bites (for radio) available

NOTE: Dr. Hensrud has very limited availability for follow-up media interviews.

ROCHESTER, MINN. -- New Mayo Clinic research shows that people with mild heart valve disease who took the diet drugs fenfluramine and phentermine may improve after they stop taking the drugs. The report is published in the

December issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. "These new findings should be reassuring for those Americans who took fen-phen," says primary author Donald Hensrud, M.D., a Mayo Clinic physician nutrition specialist. "For the first time, we have evidence that heart valve damage -- at least in people with mild disease -- may not be permanent."

In July of 1997, Mayo Clinic and MeritCare, a clinic based in Fargo, N.D., first reported a clinical observation of unusual heart valve disease in 24 patients who had taken fen-phen. Reports of other cases soon followed. Data provided to the FDA showed that up to 30 percent of diet-drug users may have heart valve abnormalities even though they have no symptoms. Based on this information, the makers of fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine voluntarily withdrew the drugs from the market on Sept. 15, 1997.

Who: Dr. Donald Hensrud
Mayo Clinic physician nutrition specialist

When: Tues., Nov. 30, 1999
12:30 p.m. CST

Where: Baldwin 1st Floor Lecture Hall
200 Fourth Ave. SW, Rochester, MN
News media should park in the Baldwin Building Parking Ramp and take elevator to 1st Floor Lecture Hall.
Tues., Nov. 30, 1999
Fen-phen feed

Test: 13:00-13:30
Program: 13:30-14:30

Test: 12:00-12:30
Program: 12:30-13:30

Satellite Coordinates

Satellite: Galaxy 7
Transponder: 14 Lower (H)
Channel: 54
Downlink Frequency:
11976 MHz Audio: 6.2 or 6.8 MHz
Longitude: 91° W

Galaxy 6
Transponder: 22 (V)
Channel: 22
Downlink Frequency: 4140 MHz
Audio: 6.2 or 6.8 MHz
Longitude: 99° W

Technical questions prior to broadcast ONLY:
(Mayo Clinic Video Communications)

Satellite technical difficulties:
(800) 333-0010 or
202-775-4300 (Diversified Communications, Inc.)

To call in questions during the news conference, please call: 1-800-362-8351

Audio Broadcast Information (Audio sound bites)

For voice actualities or "listen only" access to news conference, call: 1-888-622-5357, Participant code: 686506

International Access call: 1-505-242-2204, Participant code: 686506

Audio broadcast technical difficulties: 1-800-232-1234 (AT&T)

Audio questions prior to broadcast: 507-284-5964 (Mayo Clinic Video Communications)

John Murphy
507-538-1385 (days)

Shelly Plutowski
507-284-2417 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)

Mayo Clinic

Related Mayo Clinic Articles from Brightsurf:

Mayo Clinic-led study links obesity with pancreatitis
A study by researchers at Mayo Clinic in Arizona published in the The Journal of Clinical Investigation has found that obesity is not only implicated in chronic diseases such as diabetes, but also in sudden-onset diseases such as pancreatitis.

Mayo Clinic researchers clarify how cells defend themselves from viruses
A protein known to help cells defend against infection also regulates the form and function of mitochondria, according to a new paper in Nature Communications.

Mayo Clinic study looks at changes in outcomes for coronary revascularization
The most common type of heart disease -- coronary artery disease -- affects 6.7% of adults and accounts for 20% of 2 in 10 deaths of adults under age 65.

Mayo Clinic researchers review modern cases of leprosy
Leprosy has a history that has spanned centuries and societies across the globe.

Kidney stones on the rise, Mayo Clinic study finds
Kidney stones are a painful health condition, often requiring multiple procedures at great discomfort to the patient.

Mayo Clinic researchers demonstrate value of second opinions
Many patients come to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion or diagnosis confirmation before treatment for a complex condition.

Mayo Clinic researchers clarify chemo resistance, and perhaps a new therapy
Mayo Clinic scientists have identified a specific protein implicated in drug resistance, as well as a possible therapeutic tool.

Mayo Clinic researchers identify therapy
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that an experimental drug, LCL161, stimulates the immune system, leading to tumor shrinkage in patients affected by multiple myeloma.

Mayo Clinic researchers uncover new agents
Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered three new agents to add to the emerging repertoire of drugs that aim to delay the onset of aging by targeting senescent cells -- cells that contribute to frailty and other age-related conditions.

Mayo Clinic: Reversing physician burnout, using nine strategies to promote well-being
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have been documenting the rise and costs of physician burnout for more than a decade.

Read More: Mayo Clinic News and Mayo Clinic Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to