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Acupuncture May be Beneficial for Individuals With Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease develops when plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, and can lead to a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest. A recent study found that acupuncture increases blood flow to the heart in individuals with coronary heart disease.

Participants in the study included 59 people with coronary heart disease who were assigned to either take nitroglycerine or participate in acupuncture treatment. The researchers found that both the nitroglycerine and the acupuncture increased blood perfusion to the heart in the participants.

Blood perfusion refers to the flow of blood through the vessels in the body, on the way to the capillary beds. Decreased perfusion can be dangerous, as it can result in damage to the tissues and organs.

Researchers from the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Peking University Shenzhen Hospital conducted the study. It was published in the September 2013 issue of the Chinese journal Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi.

Previous studies have linked acupuncture to alleviating pain for patients following surgery, decreasing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea. Another benefit of acupuncture is that is has less negative side effects than prescription medication.

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