Authors: Heller T, Müller N, Kloos C, Wolf G, Müller UA
Citation: Exp. Clin. Endocrinol. Diabetes 2012 Oct;120(9):540-6
PMID : 22689103, Journal: Exp. Clin. Endocrinol. Diabetes, 120, 9
Date created: 2012-10-16
INTRODUCTION: Patients often use dietary supplements in addition to the therapies prescribed by their physicians. This self medication is often not listed in the drug history. We supposed that people, who are more afraid of co-morbidities or diabetes late complications and who exhibit a higher fear of the potential side effects of prescribed drugs, are more inclined to use dietary supplements.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We checked the use of dietary supplements with a standardised questionnaire in patients treated in a centre for endocrinology and metabolic diseases. Demographic and clinical data were taken from the electronic health record EMIL®.
RESULTS: A total of 428 patients (51.4% women), mean age 58.3 years, completed the standardised questionnaire. Supplements were used by 41%: Mineral nutrients 60.2%, vitamins 56.8%, “other supplements” (e. g. omega-3-fatty acids, antidiabetic agents) 43.1% and medical herbs 35.1%. The users of supplements were predominantly women (p<0.001), non-smokers (p=0.004), persons with frequent medical appointments (p=0.014) and with a negative attitude towards the effectiveness of the physician prescribed medication (p=0.012). Patients with diabetes do not use supplements more often than patients without. The use of dietary supplements was not associated with patients' fear to develop co-morbidities of existing diseases (p=0.132) or a higher fear of side effects of prescribed drugs (p=0.099).
CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of the patients in a centre for endocrinology and metabolic diseases use self medications with dietary supplements. There is no association between the fear of co-morbidities or side effects of physicians prescribed drugs and a self medication with dietary supplements.