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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:632829. doi: 10.1155/2011/632829. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Prevalence of dietary supplement use in patients with proven or suspected cardiovascular disease.

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  • 1Cardiac Health Institute, 173 Shaftsbury Road, Eastwood, NSW 2122, Australia.


Systematic search of bibliographic databases was conducted to describe the prevalence of dietary supplement use in cardiac patients. Included for review were studies that investigated supplement use in people with cardiovascular risk factors or proven cardiovascular disease. Databases searched were Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, Meditext, H&S and IPA. Over five hundred articles were retrieved and twenty studies met the criteria for this review. Dietary supplements were taken by a median 36% (interquartile range: 26-42%) of cardiac patients; 36% (IQR 18-43%) reported taking a vitamin/mineral supplement and 12% (IQR 7-21%) used herbal supplements. Many users indicated that supplements were taken specifically for heart health and 16-64% of users reported using supplements alongside prescription medications. However 39-95% of treating physicians were unaware of patients' supplement use. Dietary supplement use in patients with cardiovascular disease appears common, as does the concurrent use of supplements with prescription medicines. This information is often not communicated to doctors and treating physicians may need to be more proactive in asking about supplement use.

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