Background & Aims The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) can interact with antiviral treatment or influence health‐seeking behaviour. We aimed to study the use of individual CAM modalities in CHB and explore determinants of use, particularly migration‐related, socio‐economic and clinical factors.

Methods A total of 436 CHB outpatients who attended the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease in 2015‐2016 were included in this cross‐sectional study. Using the comprehensive I‐CAM questionnaire and health records, data were collected on socio‐demographic and clinical variables and on usage of 16 CAM modalities in the last year.

Results Sixty percent of patients were male, 74% were Asian and 46% were using antiviral treatment. Three‐hundred and nine (71%) patients used CAM. Vitamin/mineral preparations (45% of patients) were most commonly used. Overall CAM use and the specific use of potentially injurious CAM, such as green tea extract (9.2%) and St. John's wort (0.2%), were not associated with liver disease severity. Female sex, family history of CHB, lower serum HBV DNA, and higher socio‐economic status were independently associated with bio‐holistic CAM use, the clinically most‐relevant CAM group (P < 0.05); ethnicity, antiviral therapy use and liver disease severity were not.

Conclusions CAM use among CHB patients was extensive, especially use of vitamin and mineral preparations, but without direct influence on liver disease severity. Bio‐holistic CAM use appeared to be associated with socio‐economic status rather than with ethnicity or liver disease severity. Despite the rare use of hepatotoxins, physicians should actively inquire about it.,
Liver International
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Liem, K.S., Yim, C, Ying, T.D., Zanjir, W.R., Fung, S., Wong, DK, … Janssen, HLA. (2019). Prevalence and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine modalities in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Liver International, 39(8), 1418–1427. doi:10.1111/liv.14105