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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 3164105, 13 pages
Research Article

Traditional Chinese Medicine Use among Patients with Psoriasis in Taiwan: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

1Graduate Institute of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
2Department of Chinese Medicine, Taichung Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taichung, Taiwan
3Department of Chinese Medicine, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Chiayi, Taiwan
4Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
5Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
6School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
7Research Center for Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
8Center for Traditional Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
9Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine and Graduate Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
10Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

Received 11 July 2016; Accepted 5 September 2016

Academic Editor: Ki-Wan Oh

Copyright © 2016 Shu-Wen Weng 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.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long been used for patients with psoriasis. This study aimed to investigate TCM usage in patients with psoriasis. We analyzed a cohort of one million individuals representing the 23 million enrollees randomly selected from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. We identified 28,510 patients newly diagnosed with psoriasis between 2000 and 2010. Among them, 20,084 (70.4%) patients were TCM users. Patients who were female, younger, white-collar workers and lived in urbanized area tended to be TCM users. The median interval between the initial diagnosis of psoriasis to the first TCM consultation was 12 months. More than half (,609; 57.8%) of the TCM users received only Chinese herbal medicine. Win-qing-yin and Bai-xian-pi were the most commonly prescribed Chinese herbal formula and single herb, respectively. The core prescription pattern comprised Mu-dan-pi, Wen-qing-yin, Zi-cao, Bai-xian-pi, and Di-fu-zi. Patients preferred TCM than Western medicine consultations when they had metabolic syndrome, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia areata, Crohn’s disease, cancer, depression, fatty liver, chronic airway obstruction, sleep disorder, and allergic rhinitis. In conclusion, TCM use is popular among patients with psoriasis in Taiwan. Future clinical trials to investigate its efficacy are warranted.