Navigation Links
Kids' Use of Alternative Therapies Often Mimics Parents'

About 12 percent of U.S. youths report using treatments, study finds,,

THURSDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 12 percent of children and adolescents in the United States use complementary or alternative medicines, known as CAM, according to Harvard Medical School researchers.

Most of these children have serious chronic diseases, but little is known about the safety or effectiveness of the alternative remedies, especially when they are combined with traditional treatment, the researchers say.

The report, published in the February issue of Pediatrics, was based on information collected in 2007 as part of the U.S. government-funded National Health Interview Survey. It included data on 9,417 children younger than 18 years of age.

The researchers compared a variety of factors among those who reported using CAM and those who didn't. But because their goal was to find out what differentiated users from non-users of non-mainstream therapies, they excluded vitamins and minerals to focus on other remedies, such as homeopathic and herbal treatments.

If parents used complementary or alternative therapies, their children were more likely to use them, too, said Dr. Gurjeet Birdee, an instructor in medicine at Harvard and the study's lead researcher. "In addition, CAM use was more common among adolescents, children who live in the West and those that used prescription medications," he said.

Most kids who used CAM had such chronic conditions as anxiety, stress, musculoskeletal conditions, skin conditions and sinusitis, the study reported.

But it's important to note, Birdee said, that CAM remedies are not benign and can have side effects and serious interactions with prescription drugs.

"Health-care providers need to inquire about CAM use in households and advise patients appropriately regarding clinical efficacy, or lack thereof, and potential adverse interactions between herbs and drugs," he said.

"Further research is necessary to guide pediatricians in making recommendations on CAM modalities for children, including potential risks and/or benefits and interactions with conventional therapies," Birdee added.

Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, chairman of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, also expressed concern that alternative therapies could interfere with other treatments.

"These integrated therapies are almost not appreciated at all," Lipshultz said. "This study shows the number of kids using these therapies."

He noted that about 66 percent children with cancer use some type of CAM. "The problem is that few cancer specialists for children, and very few families, consider the importance of asking about CAM or volunteering that information," he said.

Some CAM treatments can interfere with traditional cancer treatments, Lipshultz said. The same could be true, he said, for children being treated for asthma, heart disease or diabetes.

A major problem is that alternative remedies have not been well studied, Lipshultz said.

The sickest children -- "the ones looking for hope" -- are "more likely to be using CAM," he said. "And yet, whether they have beneficial or detrimental effects is almost totally unstudied."

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has information for people considering CAM.

SOURCES: Gurjeet Birdee, M.D., M.P.H., instructor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Steven E. Lipshultz, M.D., chairman, pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami; February 2010, Pediatrics

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Remuda Ranch, Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders, and MASK (Mothers Awareness on School-Age Kids), Partner to Help Educate Parents, Teachers and Students About Eating Disorders
2. St. Augustine Elks to Start Elks Kids Fit Club
3. Listing Calories on Fast-Food Menus Cuts Kids Intake
4. U.S. Kids Using Media Almost 8 Hours a Day
5. Program uses art to engage at-risk kids
6. Worlds #1 Health Brand for Kids Joins Forces With Worlds #1 In-School Childrens Theatre
7. Federal Panel Urges Obesity Screening for Kids Ages 6 and Up
8. Deadly Choking Game Still Common Among Kids
9. Lung Infection Up in Wake of Kids Pneumonia Vaccine
10. Raising kids may lower blood pressure
11. Very Low Levels of Lead Harm Kids Kidneys: Study
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With ... fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , , , WHEN: , , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free registration ... PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President of ... Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as innovative ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Revolutionary technology includes ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing ... Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing ... IoT devices.      (Photo: ... number of ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: