25. July 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Asthma

Adding acupuncture to routine asthma care is associated with increased disease-specific and health-related quality of life compared with routine care alone, according to German researchers. A total of 1,445 patients were included in their analysis. Patients were randomised to receive up to 15 acupuncture sessions over three months, or to a control group that received routine care alone. Treatment, including the number of needles used and sites of needle placement, was left to the practitioner’s discretion. Acupuncture was associated with a significant improvement in asthma-related quality of life, as well as in general physical and mental health compared to the control group, after three months of treatment. The improvements seen immediately after completion of acupuncture treatment continued persisted at least to the end of the six-month study period.
Acupuncture in Patients with Allergic Asthma: A Randomized Pragmatic Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Apr;23(4):268-277.

A large randomised study carried out in Germany has found that acupuncture is a useful and cost-effective add-on treatment for asthma patients. Three hundred and six patients with allergic bronchial asthma were allocated to either acupuncture treatment or a wait-list control group. Both groups were free to use routine care treatment. Healthcare resource consumption, costs and health-related quality of life were evaluated at baseline, and after three and six months. Acupuncture patients incurred significantly higher costs compared with control patients, however acupuncture was associated with superior effectiveness in terms of quality-adjusted life years. Measures of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio showed that despite the increased costs, acupuncture was a cost-effective add-on treatment for these patients. (Acupuncture in Patients Suffering from Allergic Asthma: Is It Worth Additional Costs? J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Nov 20. [Epub ahead of print]).

A prospective, randomised trial carried out in Denmark has found that acupuncture can reduce asthma symptoms and medication use in preschool children.  The researchers randomised 122 children to either acupuncture (10 treatments) or usual care over a period of three months. Significant reductions were observed in subjective asthma symptoms and the use of inhaled steroids and beta-2 agonists in both groups at the end of the three-month treatment course. Compared with the control group, the reduction in asthma symptoms and use of inhaled steroids was significantly larger in the acupuncture group. However, at eight-month follow-up, these differences had disappeared. (Acupuncture in asthmatic children: a prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial of efficacy. Altern Ther Health Med. 2013 Jul-Aug;19(4):13-9).

A cohort of 4,146 pregnant Dutch women was asked about their frequency of consumption of fruit, vegetables, fish, egg, milk, milk products, nuts, and nut products during the preceding month. The children’s diets were assessed at age two years, and their asthma and allergy status was assessed yearly until eight years of age. Daily consumption of nut products by mothers during pregnancy was found to increase the risk of their children developing asthma symptoms by more than 50%, compared with women who rarely consumed nut products during pregnancy. (Maternal food consumption during pregnancy and the longitudinal development of childhood asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Jul 15;178(2):124-31).