What’s the Alternative?

People With Diabetes More Likely to Use Alternative Medicine

| Sep 1, 2002

In the United States, people with diabetes are 1.6 times more likely to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) than people without diabetes, according to researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina. In addition, greater age and higher education are associated with the use of CAM, say the researchers.

Complementary and alternative medicine is defined as "approaches to health care that are different from those typically practiced by medical doctors in the U.S.," according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population. CAM includes acupuncture, nutritional advice or lifestyle diets, massage therapy, herbal remedies, biofeedback, meditation and imagery, and relaxation techniques, according to the study.

Researchers analyzed data from the MEPS to study the patterns of use of alternative medicine among people with diabetes compared to use among people who have other common chronic health conditions and people with neither diabetes nor other chronic health conditions. Independent factors were considered, including age, sex, race, household income, educational level and number of health conditions.

While people with diabetes are more likely to use alternative medicine than those without diabetes, the level of use among people with diabetes was comparable to estimates of CAM use among people who have other chronic medical conditions. Diabetes was an independent factor for using alternative medicine, as was being 65 years of age or older and having received at least a high school education.

Further analysis showed that people with a college education, women, individuals ages 35 to 49 and those with a household income of more than $50,000 per year were the most likely to use alternative medicine.

The CAM treatments most frequently used by people with diabetes were nutritional advice and lifestyle diets, spiritual healing, herbal remedies, massage and meditation.

"Although nutritional counseling and lifestyle modification are essential components of routine diabetes care," researchers observe, "it is important to recognize that in this study, such advice/diets were obtained from CAM providers."

The researchers add that most people with diabetes use CAM to complement conventional treatment rather than as an alternative to conventional treatment.

Diabetes Care, February 2002

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Diabetes, Diabetes


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.