Age and gender effect on the use of herbal medicine products and food supplements among the elderly

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Louise Stjernberg, Johan Berglund, Anders Halling
Title: Age and gender effect on the use of herbal medicine products and food supplements among the elderly
Journal: Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Year: 2006
Volume: 24
Issue: 1
Pagination: 50-55
ISSN: 0281-3432
URI/DOI: 10.1080/14034940510005932
ISI number: 000235150400010
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Health Science (Sektionen för hälsa)
School of Health Science S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/hal/
Authors e-mail: louise.stjernberg@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: Objective. To describe the users of herbal medicine products and food supplements with respect to age and gender specifically among persons aged ≥60 years. Design. A descriptive study with baseline data from a longitudinal study of the elderly, stratified into different age cohorts (60-69, 70-79, 80-89 and ≥90 years).
Setting. Blekinge county, situated in the southeastern Sweden. Subjects. Totally 1380 persons aged 60-96 years (median age 78 years). Main outcome measures. Current use of herbal medicine products and the use of food supplements. Results. Of the participants, 264/1380 (19.1%) used at least one herbal medicine product, 184/1380 (13.3%) used at least one food supplement and 382/1380 (27.7%) used herbal medicine products and/or food supplements. In all regression models, women had a higher probability to use herbal medicine and/or food supplements in comparison with men. Focusing on the use of herbal medicine products alone and in the combination of using herbal medicine and/or food supplement, a decreased use was seen with increasing age. However, 27.9% were still users of herbal medicine products and/or food supplements in the age group 80-89 years. In comparison, 14% were users in the age group ≥90 years. Age did not have an impact on the probability of taking food supplements.
Conclusion. General practitioners need to consider the high use of herbal medicine product and food supplements among elderly when making decisions about treatment.
Subject: Public Health\General
Keywords: herbal medicine, food supplements, age, gender
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