Alternative care makes for worse asth...

Alternative care makes for worse asthma, study finds

There are 7 comments on the National Post story from Nov 30, 2010, titled Alternative care makes for worse asthma, study finds. In it, National Post reports that:

A new Canadian study suggests that a sizable minority of child asthma patients rely on alternative treatments like acupuncture and homeopathy, and are more likely to have poor outcomes as a result.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at National Post.

C Redd

Morristown, NJ

#1 Nov 30, 2010
Here's a study showing exactly the opposite re respiratory tract complaints:

"In an outcome study, 30 practitioners in four countries enrolled 500 consecutive patients with at least one of three complaints: upper respiratory tract complaints including allergies; lower respiratory tract complaints including allergies; or ear complaints. Of 456 patients 281 received homeopathy and 175 conventional treatment. The primary outcomes criterian was response to treatment defined as cured or major improvement after 14 days of treatment. Results showed a response rate of 82.6% in the homeopathy group as compared to 67.3% in the group receiving conventional treatment."

"Homeopathy and conventional medicine: an outcomes study comparing effectiveness in a primary care setting"
Riley et. al.
Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine, 2001; 7:149-159

There have also been extensive observational studies conducted throughout Europe on large patient populations. An 8-year-long German study showed significant improvement in children treated for skin conditions and recurring upper and lower respiratory infections (Witt et. al., 2008).

Some other studies also showing positive results for homeopathy in treating respiratory tract complaints are Ludtke and Wiesenauer, 1997; Taylor, 2000; Bornhoft et. al., 2006; and Bellavite et. al., 2006.

Additionally, aggregate scores from studies done on homeopathy in large populations in Europe typically show that patient improvement in both acute and chronic illnesses fall in the 70% to 80% range with high patient satisfaction.
C Redd

Morristown, NJ

#2 Nov 30, 2010
Contrary to what is stated in this article, homeopathy does not interfere in any with conventional treatment. Neither does acupuncture.

Since the results of this study would appear to be exactly the opposite of what occurs in clinical practice and what 100's of studies on homeopathy have proven, it has to be questioned whether the study was carried out in a way that provided a fair and adequate test of homeopathy.
C Redd

Morristown, NJ

#3 Nov 30, 2010
Homeopathy does not interfere in any way with conventional treatment. Both can be used together and often are. Homeopathy works by stimulating the patient's immune system to heal the body naturally.
C Redd

Morristown, NJ

#4 Nov 30, 2010
Homeopathy may provide a cure for asthma through its ability to strengthen the immune system.

For more information on homeopathic treatment of asthma see:

Conder, Australia

#5 Nov 30, 2010
C Redd: Blah Blah Blah!

We all know about the substandard trials you cite. Once again homeopathy is proven to be bunk and you cannot handle the truth. You have a dogma (a non-evidence based belief system) and you are onthe payroll of Dana Ullman so we can readily discount your lies and delusions.

Conder, Australia

#6 Nov 30, 2010
July/August 2010, Volume 17 Issue 4: 183-187

Use of complementary and alternative medicine in children with asthma

V Torres-Llenza, S Bhogal, M Davis, FM Ducharme

BACKGROUND: Because of the potential risk of interaction with, and underuse of, conventional medications, it is important to document the prevalence of the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) in asthmatic children.

OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the prevalence and type of CAMs, and to identify factors associated with their use.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of children who presented to the Asthma Centre of The Montreal Children’s Hospital (Montreal, Quebec) between 1999 and 2007 was conducted. At the initial consultation, parents completed a questionnaire inquiring, in part, about CAM use. Computerized health records provided information regarding patient characteristics and their condition.

RESULTS: The median age of the 2027 children surveyed was 6.1 years (interquartile range 3.3 to 10.5 years); 58% were male and 59% of children had persistent asthma. The prevalence of CAM use was 13%(95% CI 12% to 15%). Supplemental vitamins (24%), homeopathy (18%) and acupuncture (11%) were the most commonly reported CAMs. Multivariable logistic regression analysis confirmed the association of CAM use with age younger than six years (OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.20 to 2.96), Asian ethnicity (OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.52), episodic asthma (OR 1.88; 95% CI 1.08 to 3.28) and poor asthma control (OR 1.98; 95% CI 1.80 to 3.31).

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of reported CAM use among Quebec children with asthma remained modest (13%), with vitamins, homeopathy and acupuncture being the most popular modalities. CAM use was associated with preschool age, Asian ethnicity, episodic asthma and poor asthma control.

Since: Aug 10

Nanning, China

#7 Dec 2, 2010
Asthma is an allergic condition with paroxysmal attacks of chest distress andshortness of breath including wheezing and orthopnea. Before the attack, the patient may have some prodromal symptoms such as itching in throat, sneezing, coughing and chest distress.

Differential diagnosis: Patients with asthma caused by wind and cold pathogens may suffer from shortness of breath and chest distress exacerbated by attack of cold, chills, fever, running nose, pink tongue with white and slippery coating, and floating and slow pulse. Patients with asthma caused by wind and heat pathogens may suffer from chest distress, yellow and sticky sputum difficult to spit out, thirst, red tongue with yellow and greasy coating, and rolling and rapid pulse.

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