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The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States

From: The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

National Health Interview Survey

According to a nationwide government survey released in December 2008, approximately 38 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over and approximately 12 percent of children use some form of Complementary Alternative Medicine.

CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, and alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. Integrative medicine combines conventional and CAM treatments for which there is evidence of safety and effectiveness.

Who Uses CAM the Most

People of all backgrounds use CAM. However, CAM use among adults is greater among women and those with higher levels of education and higher incomes.

CAM Use Among Children

The 2007 NHIS asked selected adult respondents about CAM use by children in their households. Overall, approximately 12 percent of children use some form of CAM.

How Many People Use CAM

In the United States, approximately 38 percent of adults (about 4 in 10) and approximately 12 percent of children (about 1 in 9) are using some form of CAM.

Link to the study:

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