Vitamin-mineral supplement and herbal remedy use in community-living older adults
A convenience sample of community-living older adults (n = 128) was recruited from 10-sites to determine prevalence and associations with supplement use. A "propensity-to-use" score was designed to capture attitudes toward supplement use. Information was collected with an interview-administered questionnaire and analyzed with bivariate and multivariate statistics. Supplement users comprised 79.9% of the sample. The predominant reason for use was to "improve one's health". Few characteristics distinguished users and non-users. Vitamin-mineral users had a lower body mass index, a lower dietary vitamin E intake and a lower number of meat and alternative servings than non-users, whereas herbal users were more often married, had a lower ideal body weight, a lower dietary intake of vitamin A, a higher dietary intake of iron and a higher propensity score than non-herbal users. Further work is required to determine if these findings are consistent in a more diverse, randomly selected older population.