“Traditional Chinese medicines have been used in China for more than [2,000] years and are being used increasingly worldwide. Chinese herbal medicines [are] still used extensively for the treatment [of hepatitis B] in Taiwan,” the researchers wrote.
Researchers in Taiwan conducted an observational cohort study among 1,037 patients aged between 20 and 90 years found in the National Health Insurance Healthcare system between 2004 and 2011. All patients had chronic HBV and received treatment with lamivudine. Analyses were performed using patient demographic information, as well as the use of Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) and covariates data obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The goal was to determine all-cause mortality among CHM users compared to nonusers, as well as further estimate any association between Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San (JWXYS) use, a well-known herbal formula used to treat chronic hepatitis, and mortality, according to the research.
Over a median follow-up of 5.3 years, 49% of patients used CHMs and the median duration of CHM use was 2.4 years. All-cause mortality was lower among patients who used CHMs (adjusted HR = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.27-0.76) compared with patients who did not use CHMs.
Of all the patients, 88 died and the all-cause mortality rate over 8-year follow-up was 8.5% during the analysis period. More patients who did not use CHMs died (n = 67) compared with patients who used CHMs (n = 21). The Kaplan-Meier survival curve and log-rank test of overall survival showed a difference between the survival curves of the two groups (P < .0001)
In addition, all-cause mortality was different between the two groups of patients based on JWXYS use (adjusted HR = 0.26; 95% CI: 0.08-0.83).
Further analysis showed age with dose-response relationship and chronic kidney disease to be independent predictors of all-cause mortality. Lamivudine use exhibited a dose-response relationship on mortality in patients with chronic HBV, according to either univariate or multivariate regression models.
The researchers concluded: “The results of the current observational study reveal that CHMs lowered the #risk of death in patients with [chronic hepatitis B] receiving lamivudine. … Study of JWXYS in the treatment of [chronic hepatitis B] is warranted in higher quality randomized, controlled trials to validate these observational findings.” – by Melinda Stevens
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
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