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Most Cardiac Patients Report Using Alternative Treatments

Almost half report interest in participating in research trials with CAM therapies

Most Cardiac Patients Report Using Alternative Treatments

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of patients with cardiovascular disease receiving outpatient cardiology evaluations report using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Kavita Prasad, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues administered a 17-question survey about basic medical information and previous use and interest in the future use of dietary supplements and other CAM interventions among 1,055 patients (655 men; mean age 63.5 years; 98.1 percent white) undergoing outpatient cardiology evaluation at a tertiary medical center.

The researchers found that 36.8 percent of participants had cardiac symptoms for more than 10 years and 48.2 percent had coronary artery disease. CAM therapy use was reported by 82.5 percent of patients and included dietary supplements (75.4 percent), chiropractic therapy (31.5 percent), mind-body therapies (23.9 percent), and massage (19.2 percent). For cardiac symptoms, the top four treatments were relaxation techniques, stress management, meditation, and guided imagery. Only 14.4 percent reported discussing CAM use with their physicians, and almost half (48.6 percent) reported being interested in participating in a future CAM clinical trial related to their cardiovascular disease.

"In conclusion, research directed with an integrative approach to cardiovascular care might prove beneficial when designing future studies," the authors write.

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