Complementary medicine use up with chronic conditions

May 16, 2016

(HealthDay)—Adults with multiple chronic conditions frequently use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to a study published online May 5 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

Laura Falci, M.P.H., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues used data from 33,557 individuals from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey to examine the correlations between the presence of multiple chronic conditions and CAM use. They defined CAM use as self-reported use of one or more of 16 therapies in the previous year.

The researchers found that chronic conditions were common, with 22.3 and 33.8 percent of U.S. adults reporting one and two or more conditions, respectively. Many reported use of at least one form of CAM, with the most common being multivitamins, multiminerals, or both (52.7 percent), vitamins (34.8 percent), and minerals (28.4 percent). Adults with two or more conditions were more likely than those with no conditions to use multivitamins or multiminerals or both, vitamins, minerals, nonvitamins or herbs, mind-body therapies, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, massage, movement therapies, special diets, acupuncture, naturopathy, or some combination of these therapies (P < 0.003).

"People with multiple chronic conditions have a high prevalence of CAM use," the authors write. "Longitudinal studies are needed to understand the association between CAM use and chronic disease prevention and treatment."

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