A survey of herbal medicine use in hypertensive patients at the University Teaching Hospital Lusaka, Zambia
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The safety and efficacy profiles of herbal medicines have not yet been established in treatment of hypertension. The study investigated the prevalence of herbal medicine use in hypertensive patients being managed at the University Teaching Hospital. It also determined control of blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) in hypertensive patients taking both herbal medicine and conventional medicine and those taking conventional medicine alone. To draw inference the study associated herbal medicine use with blood pressure control. A cross sectional study at the University Teaching Hospital outpatient clinic 5 was conducted. Sample size of 255 was calculated using prevalence formula. Systematic sampling method with a sampling interval of 8 was used. Patients that met the eligibility criteria were included. Herbal medicine and conversional medicine were independent variables while hypertension was the dependent variable. Administered interviewer questionnaire was used. Their files were then checked for blood pressure readings (retrospectively for 6 months). SPSS version 22.0 was used to analyse the data. Of 255 hypertensive patients interviewed, 24.7% combined herbal medicine with conventional medicine. The mean blood pressure for hypertensive patients that took both herbal medicine and conventional medicine was , 143.95 +/- 16.405 mmHg SD(systolic), 85.59 +/- 7.378 mmHg SD(diastolic ) and hypertensive patient that took only conventional medicine was 143.10 +/- 17.201 mmHg SD(systolic) , 86.27 +/- -8.099 mmHg SD(diastolic). There was no significant difference in the mean blood pressure readings between patients that took herbal medicines together with conventional medicines and patients that took conventional medicines alone p=0.730 and p=0.556 systolic and diastolic respectively using t test. The commonly used herbal medicine was Aloe barbadensis (27.1%) followed by Moringa oleifera (20.8%).
The University of Zambia