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Adjunctive therapy with acupuncture has a significant effect on alleviating angina within 16 weeks, according to a study carried out in China. In a 20-week randomised clinical trial, 404 patients with chronic stable angina were randomly assigned to one of four treatments; verum electro-acupuncture (EA) at points on the ‘disease-affected meridian’ (DAM - bilateral Neiguan P-6 and Tongli HE-5), verum EA at points on a ‘non-affected meridian’ (NAM - bilateral Taiyuan LU-9 and Kongxui LU-6), sham acupuncture (SA), or no acupuncture (WL - wait list group). Electrical stimulation in the DAM and NAM groups was carried out at 2 Hz (0.1 to 2.0 mA) for 30 minutes. All patients received orthodox anti-angina therapy. The frequency of angina attacks was significantly lower in the DAM group compared with the other three groups at every time-point measured from weeks 4 to 16. After 16 weeks of treatment, frequency had decreased by 7.96 attacks in the DAM group, by 3.89 attacks in the NAM group, by 2.78 attacks in the SA group and by 2.33 attacks in the WL group. A significantly greater reduction was observed in the DAM group than in the other groups: 4.07 fewer attacks than in the NAM group, 5.18 fewer attacks than in the SA group and 5.63 fewer attacks than in the WL group.Improvements in six-minute walk distance, angina scores and measures of anxiety and depression were also observed in the DAM group compared with the other groups.

Acupuncture as Adjunctive Therapy for Chronic Stable Angina: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Jul 29