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Reduced Stroke Risk among Patients with Atrial Fibrillation Receiving Chinese Herbal Medicines Treatment: Analysis of Domestic Data in Taiwan

by Li-Cheng Zheng 1,†, Hanoch Livneh 2,†, Wei-Jen Chen 3,†, Miao-Chiu Lin 4,†, Ming-Chi Lu 5,6, Chia-Chou Yeh 3,7,8,* and Tzung-Yi Tsai 9,10,11,*
1
Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Kaohsiung-Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung 81362, Taiwan
2
Rehabilitation Counseling Program, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA
3
Department of Chinese Medicine, Dalin Tzuchi Hospital, Buddhist Tzuchi Medical Foundation, 2 Minsheng Road, Dalin Township, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan
4
Department of Nursing, Dalin Tzuchi Hospital, Buddhist Tzuchi Medical Foundation, 2 Minsheng Road, Dalin Township, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan
5
Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, Dalin Tzuchi Hospital, The Buddhist Tzuchi Medical Foundation, 2 Minsheng Road, Dalin Township, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan
6
School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, 701 Jhongyang Road Section 3, Hualien 97004, Taiwan
7
School of Post-Baccalaureate Chinese Medicine, Tzu Chi University, 701 Jhongyang Road Section 3, Hualien 97004, Taiwan
8
School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
9
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan
10
Department of Medical Research, Dalin Tzuchi Hospital, The Buddhist Tzuchi Medical Foundation, 2 Minsheng Road, Dalin Township, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan
11
Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology, 880 Chien-Kuo Road Section 2, Hualien 97004, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060282
Received: 25 March 2020 / Revised: 4 June 2020 / Accepted: 4 June 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
Background and objectives: Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) reportedly have a much higher risk of death due to stroke. Faced with this heavy burden, it remains unclear if the Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs), the most common form complementary and alternative medicine, can lower the risk of stroke for them. This study aimed to evaluate the association of CHMs use with stroke risk among them. Materials and Methods: From a nationwide database, 11,456 AF patients aged ≧ 20 years between 1998 and 2007 were identified. Afterwards, we enrolled 2670 CHMs users and randomly selected 2670 non-CHMs users using the propensity score method. The occurrence of stroke was recorded until the end of 2012. Results: Within the follow-up period, 671 CHMs users and 900 non-CHMs users developed stroke, with incidence rates of 33.02 and 45.46 per 1000 person-years, respectively. CHMs use was associated with a 30% lower stroke risk, especially for those receiving CHMs for over two years. Conclusions: The findings of the present study suggest that adding CHMs to conventional therapy could decrease subsequent stroke risk for AF patients. It is also suggested that prospective randomized trials are needed to further clarify if the detected association revealed in this study supports a causal link, and to identify the specific CHMs that may be beneficial to AF patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chinese herbal medicines; atrial fibrillation; stroke; cohort study Chinese herbal medicines; atrial fibrillation; stroke; cohort study
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zheng, L.-C.; Livneh, H.; Chen, W.-J.; Lin, M.-C.; Lu, M.-C.; Yeh, C.-C.; Tsai, T.-Y. Reduced Stroke Risk among Patients with Atrial Fibrillation Receiving Chinese Herbal Medicines Treatment: Analysis of Domestic Data in Taiwan. Medicina 2020, 56, 282.

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