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Decreased Fracture Incidence With Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapy in Patients With Osteoporosis: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study

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Decreased Fracture Incidence With Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapy in Patients With Osteoporosis: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study

Yu-Chi Wang et al. BMC Complement Altern Med.

Abstract

Background: There are no published studies regarding the efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for the prevention of osteoporotic fracture. Therefore, we conducted this nationwide, population-based cohort study to investigate the probable effect of TCM to decrease the fracture rate.

Methods: We identified cases with osteoporosis and selected a comparison group that was frequency-matched according to sex, age (per 5 years), diagnosis year of osteoporosis, and index year. The difference between the two groups in the development of fracture was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test.

Results: After inserting age, gender, urbanization level, and comorbidities into the Cox's proportional hazard model, patients who used TCM had a lower hazard ratio (HR) of fracture (adjusted HR: 0.47, 95% CI: 0.37-0.59) compared to the non-TCM user group. The Kaplan-Meier curves showed that osteoporosis patients who used TCM had a lower incidence of fracture events than those who did not (p < 0.00001). Our study also demonstrated that the longer the TCM use, the lesser the fracture rate.

Conclusion: Our study showed that TCM might have a positive impact on the prevention of osteoporotic fracture.

Keywords: National Health Insurance Research Database; Osteoporotic fracture; Traditional Chinese medicine.

Conflict of interest statement

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

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Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
The recruitment flowchart of subjects from the one million samples randomly selected from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan. There were a total of 54,075 osteoporosis patients registered in the NHIRD, with 37,960 patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2010. After ruling out patients with missing information and aged > 18 years, as well as matching 1:1 by sex, age, diagnosis year of osteoporosis, and index year, both groups contained 804 patients
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Kaplan–Meier curve of the difference between the TCM user and non-TCM user groups in the development of fracture

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