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J Neurol Sci. 2008 Aug 15;271(1-2):180-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2008.04.014. Epub 2008 May 15.

Patterns of complementary and alternative medicine use among United States stroke survivors.

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Stroke Center and Department of Neurology, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States.



Americans are increasingly searching for complementary and alternative remedies. Some data suggest that persons who use Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM) are at a higher risk for interactions with prescription medications. We assessed CAM use among American stroke survivors as little is known about CAM in this population.


We compared CAM use in adults with and without stroke who participated in the most comprehensive national survey on CAM use to date, the 2002 National Health Interview Survey. Independent predictors of CAM use among stroke survivors were assessed with logistic regression.


Of 30,992 adults, 2.6% indicated a history of stroke, with 46% of these stroke survivors reporting CAM use. Acupuncture was the only CAM therapy used more frequently in stroke survivors (OR 1.53, 95% CI=1.07-2.19, p=0.02). In multivariable analyses among stroke survivors, CAM use was more frequent among those who reported delays in seeking medical care due to cost (OR 2.28, 95% CI=1.28-4.07, p=0.005) or those with recent neck pain, (OR 2.28, 95% CI=1.48-3.52, p=0.002) and less frequent among those >65 years (OR 0.54, 95% CI=0.31-0.96, p=0.035), non-Hispanic Blacks (OR 0.57, 95%CI=0.33-1.0, p=0.049), and those with less than high school education (OR 0.33, 95% CI=0.22-0.51, p<0.001).


Approximately half the stroke survivors in the United States engage in some form of CAM therapy, with those reporting delays in seeking medical care due to cost, or recent neck pain being more likely to pursue CAM treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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