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Herbal use

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Increased use of herbal supplements by members of Kaiser Permanente Medical Program in Northern California accounted for overall rise in CAM utilization between 1996 and 1999, Nancy Gordon and Teresa Lin of the Oakland-based insurer report. Of approximately 16,000 people surveyed both years, 13.3% said they used herbals in 1999 compared to 3.6% in 1996; other responses suggest underestimation of herbal use, researchers note. A separate study by Gordon et al. shows members treated with prescription drugs with "narrow therapeutic indices" often concurrently take supplements, highlighting importance of physician involvement in supplement use

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