The prevalence of herb and dietary supplement use among children and adolescents in the United States: Results from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey

Chung Hsuen Wu, Chi Chuan Wang, Jae Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine the national prevalence of herb and dietary supplement usage among children and adolescents age 4-17 in the United States, and to identify population factors associated with usage. Methods: Weighted population estimates are derived from the 2007 National Health Interview Child Complementary and Alternative Medicine Supplement (sample n= 9417). Wald chi-square tests are used to compare factors associated with herb and dietary supplement use. Results: An estimated 2.9 million children and adolescents used herbs or dietary supplements in 2007. Pediatric herb and supplement use was more common among adolescents and non-Hispanic whites, and positively associated with parental education and household income. Children with activity limitations due to chronic health conditions, long-term prescription use, or relatively heavy use of physician services were also more likely to use herbal supplements. Echinacea and fish oil were most commonly used herbs and supplements. Conclusions: Children in the US appear to use herbs or dietary supplements at a much lower rate than adults. This analysis shows a pattern of moderate and appropriate herb and supplement use in the pediatric population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-363
Number of pages6
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013



  • Children
  • Dietary supplement
  • Herbal medicine
  • Herbs
  • National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing
  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Medicine(all)

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