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Association of Chinese Herbal Medicines Use with Development of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Authors Lin MC, Livneh H, Chen WJ, Lai NS, Lu MC, Tsai TY

Received 4 October 2019

Accepted for publication 10 December 2019

Published 30 March 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 691—700


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Chunxue Bai

Miao-Chiu Lin,1,* Hanoch Livneh,2,* Wei-Jen Chen,3,* Ning-Sheng Lai,4,5 Ming-Chi Lu,4,5 Tzung-Yi Tsai6– 8

1Department of Nursing, Dalin Tzuchi Hospital, The Buddhist Tzuchi Medical Foundation, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan; 2Rehabilitation Counseling Program, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA; 3Department of Chinese Medicine, Dalin Tzuchi Hospital, The Buddhist Tzuchi Medical Foundation, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan; 4Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, Dalin Tzuchi Hospital, The Buddhist Tzuchi Medical Foundation, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan; 5School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien 97004, Taiwan; 6Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70428, Taiwan; 7Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology, Hualien 62247, Taiwan; 8Department of Medical Research, Dalin Tzuchi Hospital, The Buddhist Tzuchi Medical Foundation, Chiayi 62247, Taiwan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Ming-Chi Lu; Tzung-Yi Tsai Tel +886-5-2648000-8713; +886-5-2648000-3209
Fax +886-5-2648006

Purpose: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients appear to report a higher risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While Chinese herbal medicine (CHMs) is proven to lower COPD risk, the scientific evidence regarding its effect in relation to COPD onset among them is limited. This longitudinal cohort study aimed to determine the relationship between CHMs use and the COPD risk in RA patients.
Methods: Using the nationwide claim data, 8349 patients newly diagnosed with RA and simultaneously free of COPD between 1998 and 2010 were eligible for enrollment. From this sample, we enrolled 3360 CHMs users and 3360 non-CHMs users, randomly selected using propensity scores matching from the remaining cases. They were followed until the end of 2012 to record COPD incidence. The hazard ratio (HR) of COPD with regard to CHMs use was estimated by the Cox proportional hazards regression model.
Results: In the follow-up period, 136 CHMs users and 202 non-CHMs users developed COPD, representing incidence rates of 5.16 and 7.66, respectively, per 1000 person-years. CHMs use was associated with a 32% lower subsequent risk of COPD (adjusted HR: 0.68, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.54– 0.84). Eight commonly prescribed CHMs were discovered to be associated with lower COPD risk: Yan Hu Suo, Sānɡ Zhī, Dang Shen, Huang Qin, Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San, Shu-Jing-Huo-Xue-Tang, Du-Huo-Ji-Sheng-Tang and Ge-Gen-Tang.
Conclusion: A significant association of CHMs use with a lower risk of COPD onset in RA patients was found, suggesting that CHMs could be integrated into conventional therapy to reduce COPD risk.

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, Chinese herbal medicines, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cohort study

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