Around 70 per cent of older adults use alternative medicine

A study suggests that nearly three quarters of adults over 50 used some kind of alternative medicine.
There is little doubt that alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and herbal remedies, is increasing in popularity. A survey by researchers at Ohio State University now puts that figure as high as 70 per cent among those over 50. Among the general population, the figure is about 62 per cent.

The most popular form of alternative medicine among the respondents was chiropractic, which may help with musculoskeletal problems like back pain. The researchers also asked about acupuncture, massage, breathing exercises, herbal medicine and meditation.

The findings also showed that widows, blacks, and more religious people all tended to use alternative medicine more than others. Alternative medicine was also, as you might expect, more common among those in poor health or who were not happy with their health care. Given that the use of alternative medicine in this age group is not likely to decrease over time, it’s important that therapies are properly researched so that people can make an informed choice about them.