Traditional Chinese Medicine May Benefit Some CVD Patients

Traditional Chinese medicine might be effective as a complement or alternative to traditional Western medicine for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, according to a state-of-the-art review paper published June 12 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Panpan Hao, MD, PhD, et al., looked at studies published over the past 10 years on randomized controlled trials of traditional Chinese medicine used for patients with hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes/pre-diabetes, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and chronic heart failure to assess the efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese medicine.

Overall, certain Chinese medications showed suggested benefits for each of the cardiovascular health conditions studied. For example, researchers looked at eight randomized controlled trials on traditional Chinese medicine and hypertension. The evidence indicated that Tiankuijiangya, Zhongfujiangya, Qiqilian, Jiangya and Jiangyabao have antihypertensive effects and a good safety profile, making them a potential good alternative for patients intolerant of or who cannot afford Western medications.

However, the authors note that whether those benefits transferred into long-term positive cardiovascular outcomes would have to be determined by long-term trials.

"Of note, one should bear in mind that traditional Chinese medicine medications are usually prescribed as complex formulae, which are often further manipulated by the practitioner on a personalized basis," said Yuxia Zhao, MD, senior author of the study. "The pharmacological effects and the underlying mechanisms of some active ingredients of traditional Chinese medications have been elucidated. Thus, some medications might be used as a complementary and alternative approach for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease."

Keywords: Antihypertensive Agents, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemias, Heart Failure, Hypertension, Medicine, Chinese Traditional, Prediabetic State, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Research Personnel, Secondary Prevention, Ursidae

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