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Complementary and alternative medicine and influenza vaccine uptake

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A recent study investigated complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and influenza vaccination among about 9,000 children in the 2012 National Health Interview Survey.

A recent study investigated complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and influenza vaccination among about 9,000 children in the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. For these children, researchers from Pennsylvania State University examined the likelihood of influenza vaccination by ever using major CAM domains, including alternative medication systems (AMS), such as acupuncture; biologically-based therapies, such as herbal supplements; multivitamins/multiminerals; manipulative and body-based therapies (MBBT); and mind-body therapies. At 33%, influenza vaccination uptake was lower among children who had ever used AMS, compared with 43% among those who had never used AMS. Similarly, the rate was 35% among children who had ever used MMBT, compared with 43% among those who had never used it. The rate of influenza vaccination uptake was 45% among those who had ever used multivitamins or multiminerals, compared with 39% among those who had never used them. Multivitamin/multimineral use lost significance in multivariate analyses; however, children who had ever used any AMS or MBBT had lower uptake, compared with never using them. The findings highlight the opportunity for public health, policy, and medical professionals "to improve child health by better engaging parents of children using particular domains of CAM and CAM practitioners advising them," the researchers conclude.

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http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/09/30/peds.2015-4664

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