Chinese herbal medicine reduces the death rate in people with severe COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new infectious disease associated with high mortality, and traditional Chinese medicine decoctions have been widely used for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in China; however, the impact of these decoctions on severe and critical COVID-19-related mortality has not been evaluated. Therefore, we aimed to address this gap.

In this retrospective cohort study, we included inpatients diagnosed with severe/critical COVID-19 at the Tongren Hospital of Wuhan University and grouped them depending on the recipience of traditional Chinese medicine decoctions (traditional Chinese medicine decoctions and non-traditional Chinese medicine decoctions groups).

We conducted a propensity score-matched analysis to adjust the imbalanced variables and treatments and used logistic regression methods to explore the risk factors associated with in-hospital death. Among 282 patients with COVID-19 who were discharged or died, 186 patients (66.0%) received traditional Chinese medicine decoctions treatment (traditional Chinese medicine decoctions cohort) and 96 (34.0%) did not (non-traditional Chinese medicine decoctions cohort).

After propensity score matching at a 1:1 ratio, 94 traditional Chinese medicine decoctions users were matched to 94 non-users, and there were no significant differences in baseline clinical variables between the two groups of patients. The all-cause mortality was significantly lower in the traditional Chinese medicine decoctions group than in the non-traditional Chinese medicine decoctions group, and this trend remained valid even after matching (21.3% [20/94] vs. 39.4% [37/94]).

Multivariable logistic regression model showed that disease severity (odds ratio: 0.010; 95% CI: 0.003, 0.037; [Formula: see text]¡ 0.001) was associated with increased odds of death and that traditional Chinese medicine decoctions treatment significantly decreased the odds of in-hospital death (odds ratio: 0.115; 95% CI: 0.035, 0.383; [Formula: see text]¡ 0.001), which was related to the duration of traditional Chinese medicine decoctions treatment.

Our findings show that traditional Chinese medicine decoctions treatment may reduce the mortality in patients with severe/critical COVID-19.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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