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Individualized Homeopathic Treatment in Addition to Conventional Treatment in Type-2 Diabetic Patients in Hong Kong: Retrospective Cohort Study
05 February 2018 (online)
Objective: Glycemic goals were not achieved in majority of type-2 diabetic patients (T2DM), especially in those with long disease duration and on multiple oral antidiabetic drugs (OADs). With the increasing popularity but insufficient evidence of homeopathy, we aimed at investigating the effectiveness of individualized homeopathic treatment in glycemic control.
Design and Setting: Retrospective cohort study with at least 6 months of individualized homeopathic treatment at a private homeopathic centre in Hong Kong.
Participants: Twenty-seven adults aged 37 to 84 years were treated with individualized homeopathic remedy between 2012 and 2015. Published data on 40 T2DM patients under standard conventional treatment in Hong Kong were used as control.
Main Outcome Measure: Change in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) at 12-month follow-up.
Results: Compared with the conventional treatment only group, the homeopathy group had higher baseline FPG (p = 0.044); more patients had long (>20 years) duration of diabetes (p = 0.006) and history of heart events (p = 0.022). The mean difference of FPG in the homeopathy group was significantly better than control after 12 months, −2.24 mmol/L (95% confidence interval: −3.47 to −1.01) vs. 0.16 mmol/L (95%, CI: −1.72 to 2.04, p = 0.001). The mean difference of the glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was also significantly better, −1.11% (95%, CI: −2.17 to −0.05) vs. 0.08% (95%, CI: −1.37 to 1.53), p = 0.046. Poorer baseline glycemic control was associated with better outcome (r = −0.750, p < 0.001), which is in the opposite direction to the effect of OAD. The duration of diabetes was not associated with better outcome (r = 0.058, p = 0.772). The improvement was robust to sensitivity analyses with compliance, type of baseline treatment, and conventional medication modification.
Conclusion: Individualized homeopathic treatment was associated with better glycemic control compared with standard conventional treatment alone. Further investigations were suggested to confirm the role of homeopathy, especially in patients refractory to conventional treatment.
Keywords: Homeopathy, type-2 diabetes mellitus, individualized, glycemic control