Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are often used as adjuvants to conventional treatment by individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD) or CVD risk factors, such as hypertension and high cholesterol. Patterns of use of CAM practices and products represent important data for health care providers in delivering adequate patient care.
Objective: This study compared CAM use among the US CVD and general population, as well as individuals with CVD risk factors (hypertension and/or high cholesterol), through secondary analyses of the 2007 National Health Interview Survey data.
Methods: The analysis compared use of CAM by individuals with CVD (those individuals self-reporting a diagnosis of coronary heart disease; n = 1055), individuals with CVD risk factors (those individuals self-reporting a diagnosis of hypertension [n = 6849] or high cholesterol [n = 5808]), and individuals who self-report as not having CVD or CVD risk factors (n = 22 290).
Results: Use of complementary practices and products by patients with CVD and CVD risk factors is common and significantly greater than individuals without CVD in the general population. The most common categories of complementary modalities used by individuals with a self-reported diagnosis of CVD or CVD risk factors were natural products and mind-body practices.
Conclusions: The diagnosis of CVD or CVD risk factors may be associated with the use of complementary practices and products.