Alternative Medicine Trends

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)* study examined the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by adults and children in the US. This study consisted of more than 32,000 interviews to gather its data and found the following data regarding Americans who take CAM.

1. Among adults, the most popular supplements were: fish oil/omega 3/DHA, glucosamine, echinacea, flaxseed oil or pills and ginseng.

2. Nearly 38% of adults age 18 + and 12 percent of children aged 17 and under, use some form of complementary medicine. 3. The most common conditions that drove adults to use alternative medicine included back and neck pain, joint pain, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions.

Complementary medicine is not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine, however, some health care providers practice both CAM and conventional medicine to treat ailing patients. More physicians are turning to alternative medicine due to its safer and usually lower side effects, increased research studies (such as the AREDS and GAIT studies) and a trend in patients being more interesting in trying alternative medicine versus overmedicating with prescriptions.

*“Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007”. Patricia M. Barnes, M.A., and Barbara Bloom, M.P.A., Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics; and Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H., National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. National Health Interview Survey Number 12 n December 10, 2008.

Comments are closed.