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Supplements are most popular complementary health approach: Survey

By Maggie Hennessy , 23-Apr-2014
Last updated on 23-Apr-2014 at 16:39 GMT2014-04-23T16:39:54Z

Supplements are most popular complementary health approach: Survey

In 2012, 17.9% of US adults used nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements—more than twice that of any other complementary health approach used, according to analysis of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC's) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). 

The use of herbs and other nonvitamin supplements (which exclude mineral supplements, homeopathic treatments, and herbal or green teas) is most prevalent the Mountain (28.7%), Pacific (23.3%), and West North Central (23.1%) regions.

Complementary health approaches in 2012

Following supplements, the next most popular complementary health practices were chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation (8.5%), yoga (8.4%) and massage therapy (6.8%). Other approaches commonly used by adults in 2012 include meditation (4.1%) and special diets (3.0%).

Complementary health approaches are defined as a range of medical and healthcare interventions, practices, products, or disciplines that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. They comprise both practitioner-based (e.g., chiropractic treatment) approaches and predominantly self-care (e.g., yoga and supplements) approaches.

Supplement use by US region

The Middle Atlantic (13.6%), West South Central (13.6%), and South Atlantic (13.1%) regions had the lowest percentage of adults using nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements, while use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements in the East South Central (15.8%) and East North Central (19.5%) regions did not differ from the percentage for the nation as a whole (17.9%).

The report used data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey adult alternative medicine supplement of adults aged 18 and over in nine geographic regions.

Source: Centers for Disease Control
“Regional variation in use of complementary health approaches by US adults”
Authors: Jennifer A. Peregoy, M.P.H.; Tainya C. Clarke, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Lindsey I. Jones, M.P.H.; Barbara J. Stussman, B.A.; and Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H.

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