Decreased overall mortality rate with Chinese herbal medicine usage in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis in Taiwan

Fuu-Jen Tsai, Pei-Yuu Yang, Chao-Jung Chen, Ju-Pi Li, Te-Mao Li, Jian-Shiun Chiou, Chi-Fung Cheng, Po-Heng Chuang, Ting-Hsu Lin, Chiu-Chu Liao, Shao-Mei Huang, Bo Ban, Wen-Miin Liang, Ying-Ju Lin

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Liver cirrhosis is one of the main causes of the morbidity and mortality in liver diseases. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has long been used for the clinical treatment of liver diseases. This study was designed to explore the usage frequency and prescription patterns of CHM for patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis and to evaluate the long-term effects of CHM on overall mortality.

METHODS: Two thousand four hundred sixty-seven patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis (ICD-9-CM code: 571.2, 571.5, and 571.6) diagnosed between 2000 and 2009 in Taiwan were identified from the registry for catastrophic illness patients. Of these, 149 CHM users and 298 CHM non-users were matched for age, gender, and Charlson comorbidity index score. The chi-squared test, paired Student's t-test, Cox proportional hazard model, and Kaplan-Meier method were applied for various comparisons between these groups of patients.

RESULTS: CHM-treated patients showed a lower overall mortality risk compared with non-treated patients (Multivariable: p < 0.0001; HR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.42-0.69). The cumulative incidence of overall mortality was lower in the CHM-treated group (stratified log-rank test, p = 0.0002). The strongest CHM co-prescription pattern- Yin-Chen-Hao-Tang (YCHT) → Long-Dan-Xie-Gan-Tang (LDXGT) had the highest support, followed by Zhi-Zi (ZZ) → Yin-Chen-Wu-Ling-San (YCWLS) and Bai-Hua-She-She-Cao (BHSSC) → Da-Huang (DaH).

CONCLUSION: CHM, as adjunct therapy, might decrease the risk of overall mortality in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis. CHM co-prescription patterns and network analysis showed that comprehensive herbal medicines have a protective role against liver fibrosis. Further studies are required to enhance the knowledge of safety and efficacy of CHM in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221
JournalBMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 14 2020

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal/therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Taiwan/epidemiology

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