Presented in part at the 75th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, Chicago, IL, November 2011.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in African Americans With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Article first published online: 28 JAN 2014
Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 66, Issue 2, pages 180–189, February 2014
How to Cite
Tamhane, A., McGwin, G., Redden, D. T., Hughes, L. B., Brown, E. E., Westfall, A. O., Conn, D. L., Jonas, B. L., Smith, E. A., Brasington, R. D., Moreland, L. W., Bridges, S. L. and Callahan, L. F. (2014), Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in African Americans With Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Care Res, 66: 180–189. doi: 10.1002/acr.22148
The views and contents expressed herein are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
- Issue published online: 28 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 28 JAN 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 27 AUG 2013 03:28PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 6 NOV 2012
- NIH. Grant Numbers: N01-AR-02247, P60-AR-48095
- National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and National Center for Research Resources. Grant Number: UL1-TR-000165
Racial/ethnic differences with regard to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use have been reported in the US. However, specific details of CAM use by African Americans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are lacking.
Data were collected from African Americans with RA enrolled in a multicenter registry regarding the use of CAM, including food supplements, topical applications, activities, and alternative care providers. Factors associated with CAM use by sex and disease duration were assessed using t-test, Wilcoxon's rank sum test, chi-square test, and logistic regression analyses.
Of the 855 participants, 85% were women and mean age at enrollment was 54 years. Overall, ever using any of the CAM treatments, activities, and providers was 95%, 98%, and 51%, respectively (median of 3 for number of treatments, median of 5 for activities, and median of 1 for providers). Those with longer disease duration (>2 years) were significantly more likely (odds ratio ≥2.0, P < 0.05) to use raisins soaked in vodka/gin, to take fish oils, or to drink alcoholic beverages for RA treatment than those with early disease. As compared to men, women were significantly (P < 0.05) more likely to pray/attend church, write in a journal, and use biofeedback, but were less likely to smoke tobacco or topically apply household oils for treatment of RA.
CAM use was highly prevalent in this cohort, even in individuals with early disease. Health care providers need to be aware of CAM use as some treatments may potentially have interactions with conventional medicines. This could be important within this cohort of African Americans, where racial disparities are known to affect access to conventional care.