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Public Health Rep. 2005 Mar-Apr; 120(2): 117–123.
PMCID: PMC1497706

Vitamin or supplement use among adults, behavioral risk factor surveillance system, 13 states, 2001.


OBJECTIVE: The authors examined vitamin/supplement (V/S) use and its relationship to sociodemographics, health behaviors, and health conditions among adults in 13 states. METHODS: This investigation used 2001 data from a cross-sectional study of non-institutionalized adults aged > or = 18 years, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. RESULTS: Of 45,415 respondents with complete data (18,723 males and 26,692 females), 56.5% (n=5,652) reported current V/S use. After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and education, the authors found a statistically significant association between V/S use and positive health risk behavior (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=1.46; p<0.001). Also, WS use was found to increase with age (p<0.001). No association was found between V/S use and the absence of specific chronic disease conditions (adjusted OR=0.93; p=0.052). CONCLUSIONS: People who used V/S in the states surveyed were more likely to demonstrate positive health risk behaviors than those who did not report V/S use. Thus it appears that individuals who are most likely to use V/S are least likely to need V/S. It is crucial that individuals report quantity and frequency of V/S use when providing medical or diet histories to health care providers.

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