Acupuncture Seen to Reduce Coronary Heart Disease Risk in Fibromyalgia Patients in Taiwan, Study Shows

Acupuncture Seen to Reduce Coronary Heart Disease Risk in Fibromyalgia Patients in Taiwan, Study Shows
A nationwide study in Taiwan of patients with fibromyalgia found that those treated with acupuncture had a lower incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). The study, “Acupuncture decreased the risk of coronary heart disease in patients with fibromyalgia in Taiwan: a nationwide matched cohort study,” was published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy. Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by comorbidities, or unrelated conditions, including CHD. Previous studies found that fibromyalgia patients in Taiwan have a 47% higher risk of developing CHD than the general population. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved several therapies to treat fibromyalgia. Non-pharmacological treatments include acupuncture, massage, and exercise. Acupuncture has already been shown to be beneficial in animal studies and clinical trials, but there have been no previous studies on acupuncture’s effect on CHD in fibromyalgia. A research team used data from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database, which collects health data for the country’s entire population. The National Health Insurance program reimburses the costs of traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbal medicine, along with conventional medical care. A total of 58,899 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2010, were identified from a random sample of 1 million people. Fibromyalgia patients who received acupuncture treatment were matched with patients who did not receive acupuncture. The two groups were similar in sex, age, comorbidities, and drugs used.
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