A study has been published in the Journal of the American medical association recently. A randomised clinical trial was conducted to confirm that acupuncture, as an adjunctive therapy against angina, is effective and safe in improving the frequency and degree of angina attacks in patients.
Angina is the most common manifestation of coronary atherosclerotic heart disease and an important risk factor for major cardiovascular events and cardiogenic death. Acupuncture has a long history in improving myocardial ischemia and preventing the recurrence of angina pectoris.
The study was conducted by the affiliated hospital of Chengdu University of traditional Chinese medicine and the third affiliated hospital of Chengdu University of traditional Chinese medicine. A total of 404 patients with chronic stable angina pectoris were enrolled in the clinical trial and assigned to the meridian point group, the other point group, the false point group and the waiting group by central random grouping. The trial lasted 20 weeks, including four weeks of baseline, four weeks of treatment and 12 weeks of post-treatment follow-up. Each patient received anti-angina medication according to the guidelines. Besides, in the meridian acupoint group, acupuncture was performed on Neiguan point and Tongli point, and in the sham acupoint group, acupuncture was performed on two non-meridian and non-acupoint points, three times a week for a total of 12 times in 4 weeks. Patients in the waiting group received 12 free acupuncture sessions at the end of the study.
The results showed that acupuncture in the meridian acupuncture group significantly reduced the number of angina attacks, reduced the severity of angina attacks, improved the score of the 6-minute walk test, and improved the angina severity rating of the Canadian cardiovascular society and most of the scores in the Seattle angina scale. Adverse events were rare during treatment. It is proved that acupuncture, as an adjunctive therapy against angina, is effective and safe.