JOURNAL ARTICLE

Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, 2007

Patricia M Barnes, Barbara Bloom, Richard L Nahin
National Health Statistics Reports 2008 December 10, (12): 1-23
19361005

OBJECTIVE: This report presents selected estimates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among U.S. adults and children, using data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Trends in adult use were assessed by comparing data from the 2007 and 2002 NHIS.

METHODS: Estimates were derived from the Complementary and Alternative Medicine supplements and Core components of the 2007 and 2002 NHIS. Estimates were generated and comparisons conducted using the SUDAAN statistical package to account for the complex sample design.

RESULTS: In 2007, almost 4 out of 10 adults had used CAM therapy in the past 12 months, with the most commonly used therapies being nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products (17.7%) and deep breathing exercises (12.7%). American Indian or Alaska Native adults (50.3%) and white adults (43.1%) were more likely to use CAM than Asian adults (39.9%) or black adults (25.5%). Results from the 2007 NHIS found that approximately one in nine children (11.8%) used CAM therapy in the past 12 months, with the most commonly used therapies being nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products (3.9%) and chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (2.8%). Children whose parent used CAM were almost five times as likely (23.9%) to use CAM as children whose parent did not use CAM (5.1%). For both adults and children in 2007, when worry about cost delayed receipt of conventional care, individuals were more likely to use CAM than when the cost of conventional care was not a worry. Between 2002 and 2007 increased use was seen among adults for acupuncture, deep breathing exercises, massage therapy, meditation, naturopathy, and yoga. CAM use for head or chest colds showed a marked decrease from 2002 to 2007 (9.5% to 2.0%).

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