Use of Complementary Therapies in Patients With Cardiovascular Disease

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
The American Journal of Cardiology (Impact Factor: 3.28). 09/2006; 98(5):673-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2006.03.051
Source: PubMed


Previous studies have suggested that patients with chronic medical conditions use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) at a higher rate than the general population. Despite recent interest in CAM for cardiovascular disease, few data are available regarding patterns of use in patients with cardiovascular disease in the United States. This study used the 2002 National Health Interview Survey and analyzed data on CAM use in 10,572 respondents with cardiovascular disease. Among those with cardiovascular disease, 36% had used CAM (excluding prayer) in the previous 12 months. The most commonly used therapies were herbal products (18%) and mind-body therapies (17%). Among herbs, echinacea, garlic, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and glucosamine with or without chondroitin were most commonly used. Among mind-body therapies, deep-breathing exercises and meditation were most commonly used. Overall, CAM was used most frequently for musculoskeletal complaints (24% of respondents who used mind-body therapies, 22% who used herbs, 45% who used any CAM). Mind-body therapies were also used for anxiety or depression (23%) and stress or emotional health and wellness (16%). Herbs were commonly used for head and chest colds (22%). Fewer respondents (10%) used CAM specifically for their cardiovascular conditions (5% for hypertension, 2% for coronary disease, 3% for vascular insufficiency, < 1% for heart failure or stroke). Most, however, who used CAM for their cardiovascular condition perceived the therapies to be helpful (80% for herbs, 94% for mind-body therapies). CAM use was more common in younger respondents, women, Asians, and those with more education and greater incomes. In conclusion, CAM use, particularly herbs and mind-body therapies, is common in the United States in patients with cardiovascular disease and mirrors use in the general population. CAM use specifically to treat cardiovascular conditions, however, is less common.

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    • "Several patients with a proven or perceived intolerance to statins and other established lipid lowering agents use alternative products to influence their lipid levels. Also other persons e even without dyslipidemia or increased cardiovascular risk e use alternative products to lower their cholesterol [4]. It is a common belief that these 'natural' agents do not have side effects. "
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    Atherosclerosis 04/2015; 240(2):415-423. DOI:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.04.004 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    • "A recent survey showed that 82.5% of the outpatients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) reported use of CAM therapies [1]. Biologically based therapies and dietary supplements are among the most commonly used CAM modalities in patients with CVD [1] [2] [3]. These products have become largely accepted as a part of the treatment for elevated serum cholesterol and/or triglycerides and for the maintenance of vascular wall health [4]. "
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    Pharmacological Research 04/2015; 97. DOI:10.1016/j.phrs.2015.03.020 · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, a review (32) reported a positive correlation between sulfonylurea/TZD and weight gain. It is important to note that GbE has been described as protecting against congestive heart failure, becoming one of the most common complementary therapies used by patients with cardiovascular diseases (33,34). GbE has also been recognized as protecting against bone loss, reducing the progress of osteoporosis (35). "
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    ABSTRACT: Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) has been indicated as an efficient medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2. It remains unclear if its effects are due to an improvement of the insulin signaling cascade, especially in obese subjects. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of GbE on insulin tolerance, food intake, body adiposity, lipid profile, fasting insulin, and muscle levels of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1), protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP-1B), and protein kinase B (Akt), as well as Akt phosphorylation, in diet-induced obese rats. Rats were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) or a normal fat diet (NFD) for 8 weeks. After that, the HFD group was divided into two groups: rats gavaged with a saline vehicle (HFD+V), and rats gavaged with 500 mg/kg of GbE diluted in the saline vehicle (HFD+Gb). NFD rats were gavaged with the saline vehicle only. At the end of the treatment, the rats were anesthetized, insulin was injected into the portal vein, and after 90s, the gastrocnemius muscle was removed. The quantification of IRS-1, Akt, and Akt phosphorylation was performed using Western blotting. Serum levels of fasting insulin and glucose, triacylglycerols and total cholesterol, and LDL and HDL fractions were measured. An insulin tolerance test was also performed. Ingestion of a hyperlipidic diet promoted loss of insulin sensitivity and also resulted in a significant increase in body adiposity, plasma triacylglycerol, and glucose levels. In addition, GbE treatment significantly reduced food intake and body adiposity while it protected against hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in diet-induced obesity rats. It also enhanced insulin sensitivity in comparison to HFD+V rats, while it restored insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation, increased IRS-1, and reduced PTP-1B levels in gastrocnemius muscle. The present findings suggest that G. biloba might be efficient in preventing and treating obesity-induced insulin signaling impairment.
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