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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 125943, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/125943
Research Article

Identifying Core Herbal Treatments for Children with Asthma: Implication from a Chinese Herbal Medicine Database in Taiwan

1Division of Chinese Internal Medicine, Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, No. 123, Dinghu Road, Gueishan, Taoyuan 33378, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, No. 259, Wen Hwa 1st Road, Gueishan, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
3Department of Medical Research and Education, National Yang-Ming University Hospital, No. 152, Xin Min Road, I-Lan 26042, Taiwan
4Division of Chest Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, National Yang-Ming University Hospital, No. 152, Xin Min Road, I-Lan 26042, Taiwan
5Faculty of Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Section 2, Linong Street, Taipei 112, Taiwan
6Institute of Hospital and Health Care Administration, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Section 2, Linong Street, Taipei 112, Taiwan
7School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, No. 259, Wen Hwa 1st Road, Gueishan, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
8Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Section 2, Linong Street, Taipei 112, Taiwan

Received 3 May 2013; Accepted 24 July 2013

Academic Editor: Tzeng-Ji Chen

Copyright © 2013 Hsing-Yu Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Asthma is one of the most common allergic respiratory diseases around the world and places great burden on medical payment. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is commonly used for Taiwanese children to control diseases. The aim of this study is to analyze the CHM prescriptions for asthmatic children by using a nationwide clinical database. The National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) was used to perform this study. Medical records from 1997 to 2009 with diagnosis with asthma made for children aged 6 to 18 were included into the analysis. Association rule mining and social network analysis were used to analyze the prevalence of single CHM and its combinations. Ma-Xing-Gan-Shi-Tang (MXGST) was the most commonly used herbal formula (HF) (20.2% of all prescriptions), followed by Xiao-Qing-Long-Tang (13.1%) and Xing-Su-San (12.8%). Zhe Bei Mu is the most frequently used single herb (SH) (14.6%), followed by Xing Ren (10.7%). MXGST was commonly used with Zhe Bei Mu (3.5%) and other single herbs capable of dispelling phlegm. Besides, MXGST was the core formula to relieve asthma. Further studies about efficacy and drug safety are needed for the CHM commonly used for asthma based on the result of this study.