Nearly one in five Americans use herbal or other nonvitamin supplements (CDC National Center for Health Statistics)

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Nearly one in five Americans use herbal or other nonvitamin supplements (CDC National Center for Health Statistics)

Nearly one in five Americans use herbal or other nonvitamin supplements (CDC National Center for Health Statistics)

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Editor's Note: In 2012, 17.9% of U.S. adults used nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements -- more than any other complementary health approach used -- according to analysis of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC's) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The use of herbs and other nonvitamin supplements (excluding mineral supplements, homeopathic treatments, and herbal or green teas) is most prevalent the Mountain (28.7%), Pacific (23.3%), and West North Central (23.1%) regions. The next most popular complementary health practices were chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation (8.5%), yoga (8.4%) and massage (6.8%).

 

Center for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics

 

Regional Variation in Use of Complementary Health Approaches by U.S. Adults 

Key findings

Data from the National Health Interview Survey, 2012

  • Use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements (17.9%) was greater than any other complementary health approach used by U.S. adults in 2012.*
  • The use of practitioner-based chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation was nearly twice as high in the West North Central region as in the United States overall.
  • Use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements was highest in the Mountain, Pacific, and West North Central regions.
  • Use of yoga with deep breathing or meditation was approximately 40% higher in the Pacific and Mountain regions than in the United States overall.

Nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, yoga, and massage therapy were the most common complementary health approaches used in 2012.

  • The use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements (17.9%) was more than twice that of all other complementary health approaches (Figure 1).
  • In 2012, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation was used by 8.5% of U.S. adults, yoga by 8.4%, and massage by 6.8%.
  • Other complementary health approaches commonly used by adults in 2012 include meditation (4.1%) and special diets (3.0%).

Adult use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements was highest in the Mountain, Pacific, and West North Central regions.

  • The Mountain (28.7%), Pacific (23.3%), and West North Central (23.1%) regions had the highest percentage of adults using nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements (Figure 3).
  • The Middle Atlantic (13.6%), West South Central (13.6%), and South Atlantic (13.1%) regions had the lowest percentage of adults using nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements.
  • Use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements in the East South Central (15.8%) and East North Central (19.5%) regions did not differ from the percentage for the nation as a whole (17.9%).

Summary

In 2012, nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements (17.9%), practitioner-based chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (8.5%), yoga with deep breathing or meditation (8.4%), and massage therapy (6.8%) were the most common complementary health approaches used by U.S. adults. Previous research demonstrated that regional differences exist in the use of complementary health approaches among adults in the United States (3,4), and this report reveals that those regional differences persist across a wide range of complementary health approaches. Environmental and cultural factors unique to towns, regions, and economic factors have long been linked to differences in health behaviors and general health measures in the U.S. population (5). Similar environmental and cultural factors may be related to the regional differences of complementary health approach uses that are presented in this report.

 

*Nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements: Include herbs and other nonvitamin supplements such as pills, capsules, tablets, or liquids that have been labeled as dietary supplements. This category does not include vitamin or mineral supplements, homeopathic treatments, or drinking herbal or green teas. 

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