Background: Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is a complementary natural medicine that is used widely for the treatment of hepatic diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the long-term use of CHM for the treatment of liver diseases, as prescribed by TCM doctors, on overall mortality and hepatic outcomes in patients with HCV. Patients and methods: We identified 98788 patients with HCV. Of these, 829 and 829 patients who were users and non-users of CHM, respectively, were matched for age, gender, CCI, and comorbidities prior to CHM treatment. The chi-squared test, Cox proportional hazard model, Kaplan–Meier method, and log-rank test were used for comparisons. Results: CHM users had a lower risk of overall mortality than non-users after adjustment for comorbidities by using a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model (p-value < 0.001; HR: 0.12, 95% CI: 0.06–0.26). In addition,the CHM users had a lower risk of liver cirrhosis than non-users after adjustment for comorbidities (p-value = 0.028; HR: 0.29, 95% CI: 0.09–0.88). The 12-year cumulative incidences of overall mortality and liver cirrhosis were lower in the CHM group (p-value < 0.05 for both, log rank test). The CHM co-prescription for Dan-Shen, Bie-Jia, Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San => E-Shu was found to occur most often associated for the specific treatment of HCV infection. Conclusion: CHM as adjunctive therapy may reduce the overall mortality and the risk of liver cirrhosis in patients with HCV. The comprehensive list of the herbal medicines that may be used for the treatment of patients with HCV may be useful in future scientific investigations or for future therapeutic interventions to prevent negative hepatic outcomes in patients with HCV.
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Drug Discovery
- Complementary and alternative medicine