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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 185-193
Prevalence of use of complementary and alternative medicine in chronic kidney disease: A cross-sectional single-center study from South India

Department of Nephrology, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, Medical Sciences Complex, Derlakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Shobhana Nayak-Rao
Department of Nephrology, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, Medical Sciences Complex, Derlakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-2442.252909

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The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has increased substantially in India over the past two decades commensurate with the global trend and has currently emerged as a significant cause of mortality and morbidity. Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), especially ayurvedic medication, is widespread in CKD although accurate data on the prevalence of use are lacking. A cross-sectional study was conducted from January to June 2017 in the nephrology outpatient clinic of a medical college hospital in Mangalore, South-West India. Adult patients (>18 years) with CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate ≤60 mL/min) were considered potentially eligible and approached to participate in the survey. A 17-item semi-structured questionnaire adapted from the National Health Interview Survey Adult CAM Supplement was used for the study. A total of 278 patients (194 males and 84 females) with a mean age of 49.04 ± 12.06 years were included in the study; 67.3% were unemployed and married (83.8%), 35.6% had primary school education, more than 2/3rd of the patients had CKD Stage 5, and 110 patients were on renal replacement therapy with hemodialysis. Comorbidities such as hypertension were present in 46.8%, whereas 36.7% of the patients were diabetic. One hundred and eighty-four patients interviewed (66.3%) reported the use of one or more types of CAM therapy in the previous six months. Herbal and dietary supplements were used by 13 (7.1%); ayurvedic medication by 117 (63.6%); naturopathic, homeopathic, and Unani systems by 30 (16.3%), while spiritual/faith healing and acupuncture were used by 16 (8.7%) and eight (4.3%) of the patients, respectively. A multiple regression analysis between CAM users and non-users revealed that older age (P = 0.004), occupational status (P = 0.035), and income (P = 0.006) correlated strongly with CAM use. The present study highlights the high prevalence (66%) of use of alternative medication in patients with CKD.

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