Background: The effect of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) on the outcomes of dementia remains unclear. Our purpose is to compare the use of emergency care and hospitalization in patients with post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) with or without treatment of TCM. Methods: In a stroke cohort of 67 521 patients with PSCI aged over 40 years obtained from the 23 million people in Taiwan's national health insurance between 2000 and 2007, we identified 6661 newly diagnosed PSCI patients who were treated with TCM and 6661 propensity score-matched PSCI patients who were not treated with TCM. Under the control of immortal time bias, we calculated the adjusted rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs of the 1-year use of emergency care and hospitalization associated with TCM. Results: Themeans of the emergency caremedical visits (0.4060.98 vs. 0.4761.01, P=0.0001) and hospitalization (0.7261.29 vs. 0.9661.49, P<0.0001) were lower in the PSCI patients treated with TCM than in those without the TCMtreatment. The RRs of emergency care and hospitalization associated with TCM were 0.87 (95% CI=0.82-0.92) and 0.81 (95% CI=0.78-0.84), respectively. The PSCI patients treated with a combination of acupuncture and herbalmedicine had the lowest risk of emergency care visits and hospitalization. Conclusions: Our study raises the possibility that TCM use was associated with reduced use of emergency care and hospitalization after PSCI. However, further randomized clinical trials are needed to provide solid evidence of this benefit and identify the underlying mechanism.
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