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J Aging Health. 2005 Oct;17(5):547-72.

Age, race, and ethnicity in the use of complementary and alternative medicine for health self-management: evidence from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1084, USA. grzywacz@wfubmc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Determine if complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use for treating existing conditions and for health maintenance differs by age and ethnicity.

METHODS:

Data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey were used to operationalize distinct types of CAM in terms of (a) no use, (b) use for treatment only, (c) use for prevention only, and (d) use for both treatment and prevention. Differences in CAM use by age and ethnicity were examined using SUDAAN to adjust for design effects.

RESULTS:

Associations of age with CAM use are curvilinear but differed by ethnicity. Some types of CAM are used primarily for treatment; others are used for health maintenance.

DISCUSSION:

CAM use is one component of adults' overall approach to health self-management. Patterns of CAM use by age and ethnicity likely reflect differences in CAM availability and prevailing public health policies when adults began making their own health-related decisions.

PMID:
16177450
DOI:
10.1177/0898264305279821
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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