Complementary and alternative medicine use among midlife women for reasons including menopause in the United States: 2002

National Center for Health Statistics/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.
Menopause (Impact Factor: 2.81). 03/2007; 14(2):300-7. DOI: 10.1097/01.gme.0000232031.84788.57
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been examined previously for midlife women only in regional studies. The purpose of this study was to obtain national estimates of CAM use.
Data were obtained from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, which included a CAM supplementary questionnaire. The response rate was 74%. The analysis included 3,621 female respondents between 45 and 57 years of age who had answered all of the relevant questions. SUDAAN software was used to account for the complex sampling design.
Forty-five percent of women 45 to 57 years of age had used some form of CAM within the last 12 months. Approximately 25% used biologics (e.g., herbs) or mind-body (e.g., biofeedback) modalities, whereas only 15% used body work (massage and chiropractic medicine). Use did not vary by age, but white race, higher education, and residence in the West were associated with increased use. Only 45% of CAM users mentioned its use to a medical provider. The most cited reason for using CAM involved treatment of pain, with only 3% mentioning menopause. However, the odds for use of CAM were almost twice as high for women with menopausal symptoms in the past year compared with women with no symptoms (odds ratio: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.6-2.2).
CAM use among midlife U.S. women is high, although CAM is not used specifically for menopausal concerns. These data will be useful as a benchmark of the use of CAM as use of conventional menopause therapies are influenced by the Women's Health Initiative results.

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    • "Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are extensively used worldwide, especially by women, middle-aged individuals, and people with chronic diseases or poor overall health [27]. In the early 2000s, approximately 50% of all middle-aged women in Western countries used CAM to alleviate menopausal symptoms [27, 28]. The current percentage may be even higher, considering the sustained decline in HT use among this population since the publication of the Women's Health Initiative results [29, 30]. "
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    • "Nonetheless, the caution evident among participants in our study reflects more negative attitudes towards HT, and a decrease in HT-use in recent years (Lindh-├ůstrand et al. 2007; Hoffmann et al. 2005). The interest in using alternative therapies to relieve menopause symptoms mirrors the findings of other studies across Western societies (Brett & Keenan 2007; van der Sluijs et al. 2007; Daley et al. 2006). "
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