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Nonprescription survey

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Ten percent of adults have taken one or more OTC products for a perceived cardiovascular health benefit, according to a survey published in the January American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Of those participants, 52.1% reported taking aspirin, 24.4% took vitamin E, 9.8% relied on garlic, and 3.8% took omega-3/fish oils/fatty acids, Margaret Artz, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Health Care & Health Systems, University of Minnesota, et al., report. Researchers used the 2000-2002 Minnesota Heart Survey to evaluate the vitamin, nonvitamin and OTC habits of 3,128 adults; at the time, vitamin E was the "dominant single-source vitamin" taken for CVH, though recent negative media reports have diminished the vitamin's reputation (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 15, 2004, p. 13). OTC product use was higher in participants over age 55 compared to younger age groups, the authors note. Almost one quarter (22%) of the 613 people using an Rx drug for CV reasons reported also taking OTC medications...

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