Among people with diabetes, the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is 51%.
Of those using CAM, two-thirds do not discuss it with their doctors, according to this meta-analysis.
Why this matters
CAM can affect diabetes management via direct supplement-drug interaction or indirectly by affecting medication adherence.
Authors: clinicians should ask about CAM use to check on interactions and ensure treatment optimization and medication adherence.
Systematic review and meta-analysis including 38 articles published from 2009 to 2019 of CAM use in adults with diabetes.
Funding: University of Birmingham, UK.
The most common CAM types mentioned were acupuncture (6 studies), mind-body therapies (6), religious/spiritual healing (5), and homeopathy (4).
Pooled prevalence of CAM use was 51% (95% CI, 43%-59%).
By region, use prevalence was 76% in Europe, 55% in Africa, and 45% in North America.
Pooled prevalence ratios (95% CI):
Males vs females: 0.86 (0.81-0.91).
Type 2 vs type 1 diabetes: 1.00 (0.83-1.20).
Prevalence (95% CIs) of CAM use as:
Additional treatment to prescribed medicine: 78% (56%-94%).
Alternative to prescribed medicine: 21% (12%-31%).
Among those using CAM, 67% (95% CI, 58%-76%) did not disclose it to health care professionals.
Data collection methods, nature of settings varied among studies.
Only English-language publications were included.
This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
© 2021 WebMD, LLC
Any views expressed above are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape.
Cite this: Miriam Tucker. Half of Patients With Diabetes Use Alternative Medicine - Medscape - Mar 18, 2021.