National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine: What People Aged 50 and Older Discuss With Their Health Care Providers

Findings Page 8

Use of Prescription Medications

Overall, four out of five respondents (78 percent) reported taking one or more prescription medications (Figure 11). Younger respondents were less likely to take prescription medications: Of those aged 50–64, 1 in 4 (28 percent) reported taking no prescription medications, compared with 1 in 10 (10 percent) of those aged 65 and older. In addition to any CAM therapies they take, 77 percent of people who have used CAM in the past 12 months reported taking one or more prescription medications (Figure 12).

CAM users who also take prescription medications were more likely to report that they had discussed CAM with a health care provider. Sixty-four percent of those who have used CAM in the past 12 months and reported currently taking prescription medicines said they have discussed CAM with a health care provider; among those who used CAM in the past 12 months but said they take no prescription medicines, 51 percent reported discussing CAM with a health care provider.

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