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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9701978, 9 pages
Research Article

Differences in Complexion between Cold- and Heat-Prescription Groups in Sasang Medicine

1KM Fundamental Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), 1672 Yuseong-daero, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
2Korean Medicine Life Science, University of Science and Technology, 217 Gajeong-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
3Department of Information and Statistics, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Honggie Kim and Jong Yeol Kim

Received 17 March 2017; Revised 7 July 2017; Accepted 10 July 2017; Published 14 August 2017

Academic Editor: Ki-Wan Oh

Copyright © 2017 Young Joo Park 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.


Sasang constitutional medicine (SCM) is a type of traditional Korean medicine (TKM) that classifies the human constitution into four types. The appearance of the complexion is one of the diagnostic factors of SCM but is rarely used in a quantitative and objective manner for diagnosis. In this study, an analysis using actual clinical data was conducted to assess the use of the complexion as a diagnostic element. A total of 528 Sasang medicine prescriptions from Korea Constitutional Multicenter Bank (KCMB) were classified into either a Cold-prescription group or a Heat-prescription group, and the complexion differences of the patients were analyzed using the color space. After adjusting for age, BMI, and systolic blood pressure, significant differences were observed among the Cold- and Heat-prescription groups within each Sasang constitution. However, when the Sasang constitution was ignored, no significant difference was observed for either sex. This study quantitatively analyzed the complexion of patients, which is used as a diagnostic element in clinical practice. It is hoped that the results will contribute to objective medical treatments in the future, such as determining an appropriate herbal prescription based on the patient’s complexion.