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Large-scale study reveals that acupuncture reduces the risk of coronary heart disease


Acupuncture is a widely used alternative medicine for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, but its effectiveness on preventing coronary heart disease (CHD) in people with RA has not been investigated. Researchers from Taiwan conducted a large-scale study assessing the CHD risk in acupuncture users and non-users of RA patients. Their findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • RA patients have a higher risk of developing CHD.
  • The study involved 29,741 patients with newly diagnosed RA from January 1997 to December 2010 from the Registry of Catastrophic Illness Patients Database from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database.
  • Among the RA patients, the researchers identified 10,199 acupuncture users, and 19,542 non-users.
  • The researchers identified 9,932 patients in both the acupuncture and no-acupuncture groups using 1:1 propensity score matching by age, sex, baseline comorbidity, conventional treatment, initial diagnostic year, and index year.
  • The main outcome was measured by the diagnosis of CHD in the acupuncture and no-acupuncture groups.
  • Results showed that acupuncture users had a lower incidence of CHD than non-users. The estimated cumulative case of CHD was significantly lower in the acupuncture group.
  • Furthermore, a lower incidence of CHD was observed in patients receiving traditional acupuncture (Chinese medicine style), electroacupuncture, or a combination of both treatments, than patients who never received acupuncture treatment.
  • Findings revealed that the preventive effect of acupuncture on CHD risk was independent of age, sex, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and statins use.

The researchers conclude that acupuncture shows promise in preventing the development of CHD in RA patients in Taiwan. They note that their findings provide useful data for further clinical and mechanistic studies.

Find the full text of the study at this link.

Visit ChineseMedicine.news for more studies on the healing benefits of acupuncture.

Journal Reference:

Wu MY, Huang MC, Liao HH, Chiang JH, Lee YC, Hsu CY, Sun MF, Yen HR. ACUPUNCTURE DECREASED THE RISK OF CORONARY HEART DISEASE IN PATIENTS WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS IN TAIWAN: A NATIONWIDE PROPENSITY SCORE-MATCHED STUDY. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018;18(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2384-5



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