Thursday, December 11, 2008

Children and Alternative Medicine

An AMA article reported that "more than 1/3 of U.S. adults and nearly 12% of children use alternative to traditional medicine." This is according to a report called Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children; United States 2007 from the the CDC and Preventions's National Center for Health Statistics. Children are five times more likely to try CAM if their parents also use them according to the report. They are also more likely if they see the doctor a lot and if they have ongoing medical problems or when their family has to delay conventional therapy due to cost. It is also most popular among teens, whites, and those with private insurance and well educated parents. They reported that fish oil for hyperactivity and echinacea for colds were the most popular. While most are harmless, some can cause harm by interfering with medicines if they are herbs and some by delaying diagnosis and effective treatment. Question are we starting to raise a population of people who believe in magic before science based medicine? Does it matter? What should be done about it, if anything can?

Skeptical DoDo

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