Objective To probe into the use of TCM preparations in the secondary prevention and treatment of CHD in China and investigate its influencing factors and relationship with guideline-recommended therapies.
Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 2,803 CHD outpatients, a representative sample of China. Interviewers (physicians) were assigned to collect information concerning patients’ medical care, previous diseases/treatments, and current medication. The use of TCM preparations and its influencing factors was analysed.
Results The rate of using TCM preparations was 29.5% in 2,712 patients with complete information; the rates of using four guideline-recommended Western medication classes, aspirin, β-blocker, statins and ACEI/ARB, were 84.0, 61.9, 56.8 and 60.1%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the rate of using TCM preparations was higher in secondary hospitals than in tertiary hospitals and was higher in patients with a longer history of CHD and/or in patients who were not taking ACEI/ARB and statins. The rate of using TCM preparations was also higher in patients without a history of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Compared with those who were not taking TCM preparations (non-TCM group), the rate of using any of the four major classes were relatively lower among patients who were taking TCM preparations (TCM group). The rate of using combined therapies was 21.8% in the TCM group and 34.8% in the non-TCM group. When other factors were adjusted, the rate of guideline-recommended therapy use in the non-TCM group was 1.7 times of that in the TCM group.
Conclusion Nearly 30% of Chinese CHD patients are taking TCM preparations to manage their heart disease, especially those with a long disease course, without a history of PCI and/or treated in secondary hospitals. The effectiveness of both TCM preparations and the four guideline-recommended drug classes requires further research.