Acupuncture treatment reduced the risk of coronary heart disease in patients with depression: A propensity-score matched cohort study

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Abstract

Background: Major depressive disorder is a significant public health concern, which often leads to loss of productivity, functional decline, and various complications. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture in the risk reduction of coronary heart disease (CHD) in patients with depression. Methods: We enrolled patients diagnosed with depression between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2010, through the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). Propensity score was used to match equal numbers (n=14,647) of acupuncture cohort and no-acupuncture cohort based on characteristics including sex, age, baseline comorbidity and medication. Patients were followed up until December 31, 2013, or with-drawn from the NHIRD. The Cox regression model was used to compare the hazard ratios (HRs) of CHD in the two cohorts. Results: The basic characteristics of the two groups were similar. A lower cumulative incidence of CHD was noted in the acupuncture cohort (Log rank test, p < 0.001). Over time, 1626 patients in the acupuncture cohort (21.05 per 1000 person-years) and 2412 patients in the no-acupuncture cohort (39.84 per 1000 person-years) developed CHD (adjusted HR=0.50, 95% CI 0.47–0.53). The decreased CHD incidence was independent of age, sex, comorbidities, and medications used. The cumulative incidence of CHD was significantly lower in the acupuncture cohort than in the no-acupuncture cohort (Log rank test, p<0.001). Conclusion: The results provided a real-world evidence that acupuncture may have beneficial effect on CHD risk reduction in patients with depression.

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Huang, C. Y., Huang, M. C., Sun, M. F., Lin, C. L., Wu, M. Y., Lin, W. C., & Yen, H. R. (2021). Acupuncture treatment reduced the risk of coronary heart disease in patients with depression: A propensity-score matched cohort study. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 17, 2315–2325. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S315572

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