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Characteristics of Traditional Chinese Medicine Use in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Taiwan:a Nationwide Population-Based Study

Ming-Cheng Huang  Fu-Tzu Pai  Hen-Hong Chang  Hung-Rong Yen  Yu-Chen Lee  Mao-Feng Sun  
【摘要】:Objective Nationwide study of current traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) usage trend among patients with rheumatoid arthritis(RA) is lacking.The aim of this study is to evaluate the application of TCM among RA patients in Taiwan.Materials and Methods This study examined datasets from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan.Patients(n=25,263) newly diagnosed as RA and proven as catastrophic illness commissioned by rheumatologists between January 2001 and December 2009 were included in this study.Patients who had at least one TCM outpatient clinical record were defined as TCM users(n=6981),whereas those without TCM outpatient records were defined as non-TCM users(n=18372).The demographic data,treatment modalities,disease distributions,comorbidities,and prescription pattern of the TCM users were analyzed.Results TCM users were younger than non-TCM user(mean age:49.6 versus 54.0).The ratio of female to male in TCM users was higher than non-TCM users(5:1 vs.3:1).The average interval between RA onset and the first TCM clinical visit was 23.4 months.Herbal remedies were the most commonly used therapeutic approach(76.4%),followed by combined herbal remedies and acupuncture(21.1%),and acupuncture or traumatology alone(2.5%).The most commonly prescribed formulas were Shang-Zhong-Xia-Tong-Yong-Tong-Feng-Wan,Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San and Liu-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan,whereas Rhizoma Corydalis,Radix Clematidis and Caulis Spatholobi were the three most frequently prescribed single herbs.Patients who had allergic rhinitis,disorders of menstruation or anxiety and depression were prone to have more TCM visits compared to non-TCM users.Conclusion Our population-based study revealed the high prevalence and specific usage patterns of TCM in the RA patients in Taiwan.These results provided valuable information for further pharmacologic investigation and clinical studies on the treatment of RA.

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