Sunday, 16 February 2014

TCM fails for migraine | Quit advice ineffective | Rural migrants need HIV help

Chinese herbal medicines ineffective in migraine
Chinese herbal patent medicines are used by about 60% of people in China with migraines, but satisfaction rates with the effects are low, and western medicines prove much more effective, a study from Guangzhou has found. In a survey of 219 patients with migraine, researchers found that 58% had used Chinese patent medicines to treat acute attacks, but only 28% reported being satisfied with the results. About 35% reported being unsatisfied. In contrast, about 60% of patients were satisfied with the response they got from western medicines such as NSAIDs for migraine.  The most commonly used Chinese herbal medicines were ones containing L. wallichii, Dahurian angelica root, and G. elata. Interestingly, few Chinese migraine patients used the triptans, which are recognised internationally as being the most effective treatments for migraine, according to the article in Pain Medicine.
Quit advice not working
 Smoking cessation counselling is effective for Chinese smokers who have developed COPD but has little influence on asymptomatic smokers, research from Changsha has found. After receiving smoking cessation counselling, smoking abstinence rates at six months were 40% for people with COPD but only 10% for asymptomatic smokers, according to a research group from the Department of Respiratory Disease at the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha.

Rural migrants missed in HIV prevention
HIV is likely to spread in China via migrant labourers and housemaids, who have low levels of knowledege about the disease and high rates of unsafe sex, researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai have warned. In a survey of 2700 rural migrants they found that more than 40% were ignorant of the facts and risks of HIV, and  6.2% had engaged in high-risk sex in the past 12 months. Only 3% of migrant workers had access to free HIV screening. Writing in BMC Public Health he researchers said migrants must be targeted with tailored educational programs pitched at a level they can understand. Rural migrants should  also be given free condoms and given access to HIV testing and antiretroviral treatment, they urged.

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