Frequency of complementary and alternative medicine utilization in hypertensive patients attending an urban tertiary care centre in Nigeria

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Lagos, Nigeria.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.02). 02/2007; 7(1):30. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-7-30
Source: PubMed


To study the frequency and pattern of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in patients with essential hypertension attending a tertiary hypertension clinic.
Two hundred and twenty-five consecutive hypertensive patients attending the hypertension clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital over a 3-month period were interviewed. Socio-demographic data, duration of hypertension, clinic attendance, current blood pressure, and compliance to conventional medications was documented. CAM utilization was explored using both structured and open-ended questions.
There were 90 (40%) male and 135 (60%) female patients with mean age +/- SD overall was 55.1 +/- 12.4 years. 88 (39.1%) of the respondents used CAM. Herbal products were the most commonly used CAM type. Amongst the CAM users, the most common herbal product used was garlic (69.3%). Others were native herbs (25%), ginger (23.9%), bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) (9.1%), and aloe vera (4.5%). 2.5% used spiritual therapy. There was no difference in the clinical characteristics, socio-economic status, and blood pressure control of CAM users and non-users. Patients who utilized CAM had higher BMI compared with those who did not, but the difference was not statistically significant (mean BMI +/- SD of 29.1 +/- 5.6 vs 27.1 +/- 5.9 kg/m2; P = 0.05).
A significant proportion of hypertensive patients attending our tertiary facility and receiving conventional treatment also use CAM therapies. Clinicians need to be aware of this practice, understand the rationale for this health-seeking behaviour, proactively enquire about their use, and counsel patients regarding the potential of some of the therapies for adverse reactions and drug interactions.

Download full-text


Available from: Njideka Okubadejo, Jan 30, 2015
  • Source
    • "In China alone, the sale of nutritional supplements and alternative medicine products amounted to about US$14 Billion in the year 2005.[7] In Nigeria, the use of nutritional supplements and alternative medicine, mostly in the form of herbal products, is estimated to be about 31.9%.[5] The use of alternative medicine among Nigerians has been on an upward trend in the last three decades. "

    Preview · Article · Apr 2015
  • Source
    • "The only independent predictor of using alternative medicine identified in this study was the belief that alternative medicine is effective for the treatment of hypertension. Thus the results of this study complement findings in this setting [11,33] and elsewhere [7-16] that use of alternative medicine is ubiquitous and that its use is underpinned by the common belief that alternative remedies are effective against a number of illness [7,11,12,17,20]. Meanwhile, these results also show that use of modern medicine was nearly universal (92%) and alternative medicine was not used alone but as an adjunct to modern medicine except for only 4% of the subjects who reported using alternative medicine alone. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Use of alternative medicine for chronic diseases such as hypertension is common in low as well as high income countries. This study estimated the proportion of people who were aware of their hypertension that use alternative medicine and identified factors predicting the use of alternative medicine. In a community based cross sectional survey among people >= 15 years in Buikwe and Mukono districts of Uganda 258 people aware of their hypertension were questioned about use of alternative medicine for hypertension, advice about uptake of life style intervention for hypertension control such as reduction of salt intake and about their attitude towards use of alternative medicine. Proportions of people who used alternative medicine and adopt life style interventions and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Predictors of using alternative medicine were identified using logistic binary regression analysis. More than a half 144 (56.2%) had ever used alternative medicine whereas more than one in four 74 (28.6%) were currently using alternative medicine alone or in combination with modern medicine (50%). People who were using alternative medicine alone (29.7% CI 17.5-45.9) were less likely to have received advice on reduction of salt intake compared to those using modern medicine alone or in combination with traditional medicine (56.6%, CI 47.7-65.0). The only independent predictor for using alternative medicine was agreeing that alternative medicine is effective for treatment of hypertension (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.6; 95% CI 1.40-4.82). The use of alternative medicine was common among patients with hypertension and usage was underpinned by the belief that alternative medicine is effective. As patients with hypertension use alternative medicine and modern medicine concurrently, there is need for open communication between health workers and patients regarding use of alternative medicine.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Source
    • "In the last few decades, plants have still remained as a rich source for efficacious, safe, and cost-effective antihypertensive drugs [59]. L. micranthus is one of the plants identified with antihypertensive activity for humans and animals in sub-Saharan Africa [60]. Aqueous extract of L. micranthus (1.32 g/kg per day) exhibited hypotensive effect on normotensive and spontaneous hypertensive rats [61]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Loranthus micranthus Linn. is a medicinal plant from the Loranthaceae family commonly known as an eastern Nigeria species of the African mistletoe and is widely used in folkloric medicine to cure various ailments and diseases. It is semiparasitic plant because of growing on various host trees and shrubs and absorbing mineral nutrition and water from respective host. Hence, the phytochemicals and biological activities of L. micranthus demonstrated strong host and harvesting period dependency. The leaves have been proved to possess immunomodulatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antioxidant, antidiarrhoeal, and hypolipidemic activities. This review summarizes the information and findings concerning the current knowledge on the biological activities, pharmacological properties, toxicity, and chemical constituents of Loranthus micranthus.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Show more