Characteristics of TCM constitutions of adult Chinese women in Hong Kong and identification of related influencing factors: A cross-sectional survey

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Abstract

Background: Traditional Chinese Medicine Constitution (TCMC) refers to an integrated, metastable and natural specialty of individual in morphosis, physiological functions and psychological conditions. It is formed on the basis of innate and acquired endowments in the human life process, which can be divided into normal constitution and unbalanced ones. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of TCMCs of Chinese women in Hong Kong and its acquired influencing factors. Methods: Local Chinese women between 30 to 65years old, were recruited from 18 districts of Hong Kong (n = 944), and were assessed using the Traditional Chinese Medicine Physical Constitution Scale for their TCMC types. Social-demographic, reproductive, lifestyle, systemic health and emotional status information were collected through structured questionnaire. The associations between different independent factors and each TCMC type, as well as the complex unbalanced TCMC types were tested individually. Significant factors related to unbalanced TCMC types were identified in final models using multiple factor analysis. Results: A total of 764 (80.9%) participants were diagnosed with unbalanced TCMCs. The most common TCMC type was Qi-deficiency constitution (53.9%), followed by Phlegm-wetness (38.9%), Yang-deficiency (38.2%), Yin-deficiency (35.5), Blood-stasis (35.4) and Qi-depressed (31%) constitution. Six hundred and eleven participants (64.7%) had at least two types of combined and unbalanced constitutions. Stepwise logistic analysis indicated that poor systemic health condition (OR, 1.76-2.89), negative emotions (OR = 1.39), overweight (OR = 1.58), high educational level (OR = 1.18) and mental work (OR = 1.44) were significantly positively correlated with certain unbalanced TCMCs. Meanwhile, aging (OR, 0.59-0.73), exercise habit (OR, 0.61-0.79) and reproductive history (OR = 0.72) showed inverse associations with unbalanced constitutions. In addition, systemic health condition and emotional status, exercise habit and age were significantly associated with the combined unbalanced TCMC types. Conclusion: The majority of middle-aged Chinese women in Hong Kong had unbalanced and complex TCMCs. Qi-deficiency, Phlegm-wetness and Yang-deficiency constitutions are the most common constitutions. Poor systemic health condition, less-than-satisfactory emotional life, overweight and mental work are associated with and may be contributors for the formation of unbalanced TCMCs, while regular physical exercise was found to be a potential protective factor for unbalanced TCMCs. © 2014 Sun et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Sun, Y., Liu, P., Zhao, Y., Jia, L., He, Y., Xue, S. A., … Chen, J. (2014). Characteristics of TCM constitutions of adult Chinese women in Hong Kong and identification of related influencing factors: A cross-sectional survey. Journal of Translational Medicine, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5876-12-140

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