Clinical trials have indicated some traditional Chinese medicine formulas reduce airway hyperresponsiveness and relieve asthma symptoms. This study investigated Chinese herbal Medicine (CHM) for childhood asthma and clarified the relationship between CHM use and consequent asthma hospitalization by a population-based cohort study.
We used the data of one million individuals randomly selected from Registry of Beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance Research Database. Patients aged less than 18 years and diagnosed as asthma were followed from 2000 to 2012 and divided into the CHM group and the non-CHM group. Cox proportional hazard regression model was conducted to estimate the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of the two groups, and the Kaplan-Meier survival curve was used to determine the association between CHM cumulative days and consequent asthma hospitalization.
Of the total of 33,865 patients, 14,783 (43.6%) were included in the CHM group, and 19,082 (56.4%) were included in the non-CHM group. After adjustment for gender, age, comorbidities, and total numbers of asthma medication, CHM users had a lower risk of asthma hospitalization than non-CHM users (aHR: 0.90, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83–0.95). Children older than 6 years who used CHM therapy for more than 180 days exhibited a reduction of 29% for the risk of consequent asthma hospitalization (aHR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.51–0.98).
Children aged 6–18 years who used more than 6 months CHM therapy reduced the risk of consequent asthma hospitalization. Long-term CHM therapy has benefit in school-age children with asthma.
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