Differences by Race/Ethnicity in Older Adults' Beliefs about the Relative Importance of Dietary Supplements vs Prescription Medications: Results from the SURE Study
School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, University of Hawaii, 677 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Impact Factor: 3.47). 08/2012; 112(8):1223-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.05.006
Dietary supplement use is widespread among adults across races/ethnicities, yet reasons for use can vary across these groups. The Supplement Reporting (SURE) study quantified dietary supplement use and reasons for taking supplements in a multiethnic sample of adults who took at least one supplement. This study explored sociodemographic differences, including by race/ethnicity, associated with specific reasons/motivations for taking dietary supplements, including perceived importance of taking supplements relative to prescription medications. The study time period was March 2005 to August 2006. Participants (n=397) were older adults (ages 52 to 88 years) recruited from the Multiethnic Cohort Study in Hawaii and Los Angeles, CA, with equal representation of males and females from six ethnic groups (ie, white, Japanese American, Native Hawaiian, African American, US-born Latino, and foreign-born Latino). Subgroups of participants were compared by χ(2) tests and logistic regression. The most common reasons for taking supplements were to maintain a healthy life, because they were recommended by a health professional, and to prevent a disease/medical problem. A majority (76%) of participants reported that their dietary supplements were as important as prescription medications, with foreign-born Latinos and Japanese Americans being most likely to state this belief. The relative importance of supplements was not associated with excessive use, but 27% of participants exceeded the upper limit for a nutrient. It is crucial for health professionals to better understand why individuals take supplements and the importance that they attach to their use. This information could lead to better monitoring and education efforts to prevent overuse of supplements and possible interactions with medications.
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ABSTRACT: As the World Bridge Federation is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code, top-level Bridge players undergo anti-doping testing in international tournaments. Compared to “physical” athletes, Bridge players are “mind” athletes who are more likely to use medications and dietary supplements simply because they are, on average, older. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, behavioural risk factors, presence of chronic diseases and use of medications and supplements were collected among 125 Bridge players participating in two world-level Bridge tournaments. About one third of the players were older than 60 years, and 76.8% reported at least one chronic condition, with cardiovascular diseases, back/joint problems, insomnia, asthma and diabetes being the most common. Some 60% of players reported using at least one medication in the preceding week, including substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list, whereas 44.0% reported to have used at least one dietary supplement. As “mind” athletes, professional Bridge players’ demographic and health-related characteristics indicate to a different pattern of drug use than “physical” athletes normally considered under the World Anti-Doping Code.
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