Objectives Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasingly used in China. But few data are available on CAM use in Chinese patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). The study aimed to determine the prevalence, patterns of CAM use among CAD patients and assess associated factors of CAM use.
Methods Six hundred consecutive CAD patients (mean age: 61.3 ± 9.2 years, 308 male) were invited to complete a questionnaire regarding social-demographic characteristics and CAM use features.
Results Five hundred and forty-six patients responded. Among these, 377 patients had used atleast one CAM therapy for CAD management, with Chinese patent medicine (90.7%) being the commonest used pattern. CAM users tended to be older (P < 0.01), with a longer disease duration (P < 0.01), but better current health status evaluated by Seattle Angina Questionnaire (P < 0.05), and less likely to experience emergency admission (P <0.01) and hospitalisation (P = 0.04) within the past 1 year. The main reason of CAM use was fewer side effects (49.6%), while the main reason for non-use was doubt of effect (61.5%). Patients from Chinese and western medical hospitals differ in use frequency, patterns, perceived effectiveness, and reasons.
Conclusions CAM is commonly used inpatients with CAD in Beijing, north China. The used patterns are diverse and the prevalence is higher than that reported in many other countries. Age, disease duration, and current health status may associate with CAM use and different using characteristics are existed between Chinese and western medical hospitals.