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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 672097, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/672097
Review Article

Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease: An Evidence-Based Review

1Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, 1542 Tulane Avenue, Room 656, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
2Department of Pharmacology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, 1542 Tulane Avenue, Room 656, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA

Received 11 December 2012; Accepted 21 March 2013

Academic Editor: Tabinda Ashfaq

Copyright © 2013 Matthew J. Rabito and Alan David Kaye. 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

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) plays a significant role in many aspects of healthcare worldwide, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). This review describes some of the challenges of CAM in terms of scientific research. Biologically-based therapies, mind-body therapies, manipulative and body-based therapies, whole medical systems, and energy medicine are reviewed in detail with regard to cardiovascular risk factors and mediation or modulation of cardiovascular disease pathogenesis. CAM use among patients with CVD is prevalent and in many instances provides positive and significant effects, with biologically-based and mind-body therapies being the most commonly used treatment modalities. More rigorous research to determine the precise physiologic effects and long-term benefits on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality with CAM usage, as well as more open lines of communication between patients and physicians regarding CAM use, is essential when determining optimal treatment plans.