Adolescents Frequently Use Alternative Medicines for Asthma

JANUARY 01, 2003

A recent survey of 160 inner-city adolescents with asthma showed that 80% had used complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) for asthma symptoms. This prevalence is twice that reported in an earlier study involving adults with asthma, the authors reported in the October 2002 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The following CAM therapies were reported:

? Rubs and herbal teas (74% and 39%)
? Prayer (37%) ? Massage (36%)
? Jarabe 7 syrup (24%)
? Foods (24%)

Most CAM users (59%) believed that these therapies were as effective as conventional therapies, and only 54% of users had told their physicians that they were taking CAM. Most of the subjects (68%) were Hispanic, and 26% were African American.