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TCM as adjunctive therapy improves risks of respiratory hospitalizations in persons with type 2 diabetes: A retrospective cohort study.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2023 March 25
Patients with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma than the general population. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) might be beneficial for patients with type 2 diabetes. We investigated whether TCM use was associated with a reduced risk of respiratory hospitalizations in patients with type 2 diabetes. Conducting a retrospective cohort study, we used data retrieved from the NDCMP database. Among 56,035 patients, 5226 were classified as TCM users; 50,809 were classified as TCM nonusers. Both groups were analyzed until the end of 2011 to examine the incidence of respiratory hospitalizations by using a Cox proportional hazards model to evaluate effects of TCM use on respiratory hospitalizations. During the 6-year study follow-up period, the incidence density rates of COPD- and asthma-related hospitalization were estimated to be 13.03 and 4.47 per 10,000 patient-years for TCM nonusers and 10.08 and 3.28 per 10,000 patient-years for TCM users, respectively. The HR of COPD-related hospitalization in TCM users was 0.88 (95% CI = 0.79-0.99); and the HR of asthma-related hospitalization in TCM users was 0.81 (95% CI = 0.66-1.00). Stratified analyses revealed that effects of TCM use were stronger among individuals who had diabetes for <3 years. As a part of Integrative Medicine, our study results demonstrate that TCM use was associated with a significant reduced risk of respiratory hospitalizations, especially in patients with diabetes for <3 years.

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