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Complement Ther Med. 2013 Aug;21(4):358-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.05.001. Epub 2013 May 29.

The prevalence of herb and dietary supplement use among children and adolescents in the United States: Results from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey.

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School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan.



The purpose of this study is to examine the national prevalence of herb and dietary supplement usage among children and adolescents age 4-17 in the United States, and to identify population factors associated with usage.


Weighted population estimates are derived from the 2007 National Health Interview Child Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supplement (sample n=9417). Wald chi-square tests are used to compare factors associated with herb and dietary supplement use.


An estimated 2.9 million children and adolescents used herbs or dietary supplements in 2007. Pediatric herb and supplement use was more common among adolescents and non-Hispanic whites, and positively associated with parental education and household income. Children with activity limitations due to chronic health conditions, long-term prescription use, or relatively heavy use of physician services were also more likely to use herbal supplements. Echinacea and fish oil were most commonly used herbs and supplements.


Children in the US appear to use herbs or dietary supplements at a much lower rate than adults. This analysis shows a pattern of moderate and appropriate herb and supplement use in the pediatric population.


Children; Dietary supplement; Herbal medicine; Herbs; National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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