Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say they've discovered a possible association between valvular heart disease and concomitant use of prescription diet pills containing fenfluramine and phentermine, dubbed "fen-phen." The data are to be published in The New England Journal of Medicine in late August. During a press conference held at the Mayo Clinic July 8, Dr. Heidi Connolly described the cases of 24 healthy women free of heart disease, mean age 43 years, who took fenfluramine/phentermine-containing diet pills for close to one year. Valvular heart disease developed in all 24 women. "Patients presented with symptoms or a murmur," Dr. Connolly's team noted in an unedited version of the study posted on the Mayo Clinic website (www.mayo.edu.) "Echocardiography demonstrated unusual valvular morphology and regurgitation in all patients. Eight of the women had newly documented pulmonary hypertension." Last year, "fen-phen" prescriptions exceeded 18 million in the US. I find it very sad that most people still want the easy "pill" answer. Unfortunately it appears this solution is very dangerous. I have NEVER prescribed this drug and have always refused it when patients asked explaining that it was not the correct way to lose weight. I have found that rigid application of the principles in books like The Carbohydrate Addict's diet lifestyle program by Heller have been quite successful for the majority of patients looking for weight loss.