Self-perceived health and chronic conditions among users of supplements with and without botanical ingredients: findings from the 2009-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys
Objective: To describe associations between self-reported general health status, chronic conditions, and use of supplements containing botanicals (SCB) and describe reasons for use among U.S. adult supplement users.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis using data from the 2009-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Information on self-reported dietary supplement use and reasons for use were collected with a 30-day recall interview. Self-reported general health status and doctor-informed diagnoses of chronic conditions were assessed using a health status questionnaire. We used weighted multivariate logistic regressions to assess associations between dietary supplement use and perceived health and number of chronic conditions.
Setting: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2009-2014).
Participants: 16,958 non-institutionalized U.S. adults aged 20 years and older.
Results: Adults who reported excellent or very good self-perceived health were more likely to use SCB than adults with good perceptions of their health. Adults with three or more chronic conditions were more likely to report using SCB than adults with no chronic conditions. The most frequently reported reasons for SWB and SCB use were “personal choice or influenced by advertisements or word of mouth,” to “improve health,” and “specific health conditions.”
Conclusions: While perceptions of health are more positive among adults using SCB, these individuals are also more likely to have a chronic condition and to report taking SCB for reasons related to exercising personal choice, improving health, or addressing specific health conditions. Differentiating SCB from other forms of complementary and integrative therapies may be useful for facilitating a deeper understanding of the reasons for supplement use among distinct user groups.