Cardiovascular diseases are a major health hazard around the world. Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) refers to a group of conditions that include heart attack (both ST-elevation myocardial infarction and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction), and unstable angina. It is a type of coronary heart disease, which is responsible for one-third of total deaths in people older than 35.
A clinical trial has uncovered exciting findings about a special type of medication called Chinese patent medicine (CPM). This medicine comes from China and is used by people who have gone through a heart procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) due to acute coronary syndrome. The clinical trial aimed to understand if these Chinese medicines are helpful and safe for patients after such heart procedures.
Acute Coronary Syndrome
When people have heart problems such as ACS, sometimes they need a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to help their heart work better. After this procedure, patients often need some sort of treatment to help their hearts heal and avoid further cardiovascular events. In China, many people use traditional Chinese medicines, specifically Chinese Patent Medicines (CPMs), to stay healthy. These CPMs are made from natural herbs and are tailored to a person's specific health condition.
Currently, at least 7 million patients worldwide receive PCI annually per year. In these people, the incidence of cardiovascular events is 13.4 – 48.4%, despite the application of conventional secondary prevention medication.
The researchers wanted to know if using these special Chinese medicines after a heart procedure could make a difference. The clinical trial involved 2,724 patients who had undergone PCI for ACS. Of these, 1,380 patients received CPM in addition to conventional medication while the remaining received conventional medication (CM) only. The CPM comprised Guanxin Danshen dripping pills, Qishen Yiqi dripping pills, or Danlou tablets. These patients were followed up for three years.
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The primary endpoint was composed of cardiac death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and urgent revascularization. The secondary endpoint included rehospitalization due to ACS, heart failure, stroke, and other thrombotic events as well as the quality of life.
Surprisingly, the results of the clinical trial showed that the patients who used Chinese medicines in addition to conventional medicine had better outcomes. The primary endpoint occurred in 126 (8.61%) patients in the CPM group and 167 (11.62%) patients in the CM group. The secondary endpoint occurred in 144 (9.84%) patients in the CPM group and 197 (13.71%) patients in the CM group.
These results indicate the hearts of the patients in the CPM group seemed to be healthier and were working better compared to those who used conventional medicines only.
Another important thing the researchers checked was the safety of these Chinese medicines. It's crucial for any medicine to be safe and not cause any harm. Fortunately, the study found that these Chinese medicines were safe for the patients. They didn't cause any major problems or side effects. This is important information because safety is a top concern when using any kind of medicine.
This clinical research opens up new possibilities for heart patients who have undergone a PCI procedure. The Chinese Patent Medicines, based on natural herbs and tailored to each patient's needs, could be a helpful addition to their recovery journey.
The clinical trial about Chinese Patent Medicines and heart patients who had a PCI procedure is a big step forward in understanding how traditional medicines can work alongside modern medical procedures. The results suggest that these medicines might be effective in preventing further cardiovascular events after the PCI procedure and improving the quality of life in these patients.
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