Advertisement

Differences by Race/Ethnicity in Older Adults' Beliefs about the Relative Importance of Dietary Supplements vs Prescription Medications: Results from the SURE Study

      Abstract

      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 χ2 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.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Bailey B.W.
        • Sullivan D.K.
        • Kirk E.P.
        • Donnelly J.E.
        Dietary predictors of visceral adiposity in overweight young adults.
        Br J Nutr. 2010; 103: 1702-1705
        • Foote J.A.
        • Murphy S.P.
        • Wilkens L.R.
        • et al.
        Factors associated with dietary supplement use among healthy adults of five ethnicities—The multiethnic cohort study.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2003; 157: 888-897
        • Millen A.E.
        • Dodd K.W.
        • Subar A.F.
        Use of vitamin, mineral, nonvitamin, and nonmineral supplements in the United States: The 1987, 1992, and 2000 National Health Interview Survey results.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 2004; 104: 942-950
        • NIH State-of-the-Science Conference
        Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements and Chronic Disease Prevention, May 15-17, 2006, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2007; 85: 251S-327S
        • Supplement Business Report
        Nutrition Business Journal.
        (Accessed May 10, 2011)
        • Ervin R.B.
        • Wright J.D.
        • Wang C.Y.
        • Kennedy-Stephenson J.
        Dietary intake of selected vitamins for the United States population: 1999-2000.
        Adv Data. 2004; 12: 1-4
        • Hoggatt K.J.
        • Bernstein L.
        • Reynolds P.
        • et al.
        Correlates of vitamin supplement use in the United States: Data from the California Teachers Study cohort.
        Cancer Causes Control. 2002; 13: 735-740
        • Frank E.
        • Bendich A.
        • Denniston M.
        Use of vitamin-mineral supplements by female physicians in the United States.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2000; 72: 969-975
        • Murphy S.P.
        • White K.K.
        • Park S.Y.
        • Sharma S.
        Multivitamin-multimineral supplements' effect on total nutrient intake.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2007; 85: 280S-284S
        • Neuhouser M.L.
        • Patterson R.E.
        • Levy L.
        Motivations for using vitamin and mineral supplements.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 1999; 99: 851-854
        • Marinac J.S.
        • Buchinger C.L.
        • Godfrey L.A.
        • et al.
        Herbal products and dietary supplements: A survey of use, attitudes, and knowledge among older adults.
        J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007; 107: 13-20
        • Kaufman D.W.
        • Kelly J.P.
        • Rosenberg L.
        • Anderson T.E.
        • Mitchell A.A.
        Recent patterns of medication use in the ambulatory adult population of the United States: The Slone survey.
        JAMA. 2002; 287: 337-344
        • Conner M.
        • Kirk S.F.L.
        • Cade J.E.
        • Barrett J.H.
        Why do women use dietary supplements?.
        Soc Sci Med. 2001; 52: 621-633
        • Murphy S.P.
        • Wilkens L.R.
        • Monroe K.R.
        • et al.
        Dietary supplement use within a multiethnic population as measured by a unique inventory method.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 2011; 111: 1065-1072
        • Kolonel L.N.
        • Henderson B.E.
        • Hankin J.H.
        • et al.
        A multiethnic cohort in Hawaii and Los Angeles: Baseline characteristics.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2000; 151: 346-357
        • Otten J.J.
        • Hellwig J.P.
        • Meyers L.D.
        DRI, Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements.
        National Academies Press, Washington, DC2006
        • Horne R.
        • Weinman J.
        Patients' beliefs about prescribed medicines and their role in adherence to treatment in chronic physical illness.
        J Psychosom Res. 1999; 47: 555-567
        • Horne R.
        • Weinman J.
        Self-regulation and self-management in asthma: Exploring the role of illness perceptions and treatment beliefs in explaining non-adherence to preventer medication.
        Psychol Health. 2002; 17: 17-32
        • Chia L.
        • Schlenk E.A.
        • Dunbar-Jacob J.
        Effect of personal and cultural beliefs on medication adherence in elderly.
        Drugs Aging. 2006; 23: 191-202
        • Mardby A.C.
        • Akerlind I.
        • Jorgensen T.
        Beliefs about medicines and self-reported adherence among pharmacy clients.
        Patient Educ Couns. 2007; 69: 158-164
        • Phatak H.M.
        • Thomas 3rd, J.
        Relationships between beliefs about medications and nonadherence to prescribed chronic medications.
        Ann Pharmacother. 2006; 40: 1737-1742
        • Schreier S.S.
        • Heinrichs N.
        • Alden L.
        • et al.
        Social anxiety and social norms in individualistic and collectivistic countries.
        Depress Anxiety. 2010; 27: 1128-1134
        • Hart I.
        • Poole G.D.
        Individualism and collectivism as considerations in cross-cultural health research.
        J Soc Psychol. 1995; 135: 97-99
        • Chao M.T.
        • Wade C.
        • Kronenberg F.
        • Kalmuss D.
        • Cushman L.F.
        Women's reasons for complementary and alternative medicine use: Racial/ethnic differences.
        J Altern Complement Med. 2006; 12: 719-720
        • Waldstein A.
        Popular medicine and self-care in a Mexican migrant community: Toward an explanation of an epidemiological paradox.
        Med Anthropol. 2010; 29: 71-107
        • Zhao M.
        • Esposito N.
        • Wang K.
        Cultural beliefs and attitudes toward health and health care among Asian-born women in the United States.
        J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2010; 39: 370-385
        • Loya A.M.
        • Gonzalez-Stuart A.
        • Rivera J.O.
        Prevalence of polypharmacy, polyherbacy, nutritional supplement use and potential product interactions among older adults living on the United States-Mexico border: A descriptive, questionnaire-based study.
        Drugs Aging. 2009; 26: 423-436
        • Bailey R.L.
        • Gahche J.J.
        • Lentino C.V.
        • et al.
        Dietary supplement use in the United States, 2003-2006.
        J Nutr. 2011; 141: 261-266

      Biography

      C. L. Albright is an associate professor, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene and Prevention and Control Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.

      Biography

      S. M. Schembre is a junior researcher, Prevention and Control Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, and Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

      Biography

      A. D. Steffen is an assistant professor, Office of Public Health Studies, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI.

      Biography

      L. R. Wilkens is a professor, Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.

      Biography

      K. M. Yonemori is a research dietitian/nutritionist, Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.

      Biography

      S. P. Murphy is professor emeritus, Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.

      Biography

      K. R. Monroe is an assistant professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.