Temporal Trends in Use of Complementary Therapies Among Patients With Cardiovascular Disorders

Published:January 12, 2022DOI:
      This study aimed to evaluate the use and frequency of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) therapies in an outpatient cohort with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and compare trends over time. This cross-sectional point-of-care prospective study assessed patients attending a cardiology outpatient clinic. As in our 2009 cohort, data were collected with a 17-question survey on demographic characteristics, CVD history, current use and future interest in CIM. In total, 964 patients completed the survey. CIM use continues to be high (2009 vs 2018, 83.4% vs 81.8%) (p = 0.34), with dietary supplements the most common therapy (75% in both studies). We observed increased use of mind-body therapies (28.5% vs 23.9%, p = 0.02), especially meditation, yoga, and tai chi. Of the patients receiving CIM therapies, 41.9% reported using CIM for heart-related symptoms. Relaxation, stress management, and meditation were the top three mind-body therapies for CVD-related symptoms in both cohorts. Reporting of CIM use to clinicians is low (15%) and interest on future use is high (47%). In conclusion, CIM is highly used in cardiology patients—4 of 10 patients use CIM for CVD-related symptoms. Most take dietary supplements, with an increased use of mind-body therapies. Our data highlight the importance of documenting CIM use in practice and the need for research to document efficacy.
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