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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 818235, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/818235
Research Article

Evidence-Based Novel Changes in Prevalence and Symptom Characteristics of Spleen Deficiency Syndrome in Persons of Varied Health Status and Different Ages: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study

1First Clinic College of Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100700, China
2Second Clinic College of Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Fengtai District, Beijing 100078, China
3Department of Development Planning, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
4School of Basic Medical Science, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
5Department of Internal Medicine, Changping District Hospital of Integrative Medicine, Changping District, Beijing 102208, China
6Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ditan Hospital Affiliated to Beijing Capital Medical University, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015, China
7Department of Health Administration, Electric Power Teaching Hospital of Capital Medical University, Fengtai District, Beijing 100073, China
8Center for Evidence Based Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
9Department of Acupuncture, Quanzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Licheng District, Quanzhou 362000, China
10China Institute for History of Medicine and Medical Literature, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
11Department of Medical Administration, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, No. 11, North Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China

Received 17 August 2014; Accepted 16 October 2014; Published 11 November 2014

Academic Editor: Hongcai Shang

Copyright © 2014 Yin Zhang 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

Deficiency of the organs is a vital pathophysiologic characteristic in the elderly. A core TCM aging theory is known as aging caused by spleen deficiency syndrome (SDS) that can be found in ancient and modern literature. The key objectives of this study were to establish a full-scale trial to evaluate the prevalence, symptom severity, frequency, and distribution of SDS in different age groups as related to health status (healthy, subhealthy, and chronic disease) to elucidate the role of spleen deficiency in the aging process and deterioration of health status. This cross-sectional observational study was conducted in 4 hospitals in China. 1390 participants aged 20–79 were interviewed by investigators who completed questionnaires recording prevalence, severity, and frequency of symptoms as well as other relevant information. The results revealed that prevalence and symptom characteristics of SDS showed regularities with increasing age and deteriorating health status. It supports the TCM concept that spleen deficiency is an important mechanism of aging, subhealth, and chronic diseases. Early recognition of the warning signs and symptoms of SDS may lead to intervention and even prevention strategies for subhealth and chronic diseases as well as promotion of healthy aging.