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Are Users of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Sicker than Non-Users?

Higher use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies is commonly related to higher socioeconomic status and to dissatisfaction with conventional medicine. Little is known about health differences between users and non-users of CAM. This paper explores some of the differences between users and non-users and their likelihood of consulting CAM providers.

The results suggest that while users of CAM have higher socioeconomic status and are younger, they tend to report worse health than non-users of CAM. With CAM becoming mainstream in medical practice, pain and affective-emotional distress are the main drivers of CAM use in this study population. Shmueli A, Shuval J. Adapted from Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 2007 Jun;4(2):251-5.

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