203104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Immigrant Asian Indians and its Association with Health Behaviors, Supplement Use, and Access to Care

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ranjita Misra, PhD, CHES , Medical Dietetics, Health and Wellness, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Maryanna Klatt, PhD , Department of Family Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Padmini Balagopal, PHD, CDE , Department of Medicine, Baroda University, Baroda, India
INTRODUCTION: Asian Americans use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) at a high rate. This national study on Asian Indians, the 3rd largest Asian American subgroup in the US, examined the association of acculturation, access to health care, health promotion behaviors, supplement and CAM usage. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of 1826 adults in six states with higher concentration of Asian Indians. RESULTS: Mean age and years lived in the US was 45.7 12.8 and 16.6 11.1 years respectively. The majority of the respondents were first generation immigrants, college graduates, married, and employed for wages. Modal income was $75,000 to $100,000. Nearly one quarter of Asian Indians (22%) used at least one type of CAM; most common CAM was Ayurveda, Homeopathy, and herbal medicine. Number of years lived in the United States, a proxy measure of acculturation, self-reported poor physical or mental health status, and access to health care was unrelated to any CAM use among the respondents. However, older respondents, individuals who used vitamin supplements and those from lower income category reported higher use of CAM. A positive association was noted among CAM use and health promotion behaviors (interpersonal relationships, nutrition, health responsibility, physical activity, and stress management). CONCLUSIONS: CAM use varies by income, age, health promotion behaviors, and supplement use among Asian Indians living in the United States. Differences in health behaviors and cultural beliefs should be considered to predict the patterns of CAM use in this ethnic subgroup and also be factored into patient education.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: 1. Describe the CAM use among Asian Indians. 2. List the association between CAM use and acculturation, access to health care, health promotion behaviors, and supplement use. 3. Discuss differences in health behaviors and cultural beliefs to predict the patterns of CAM use in this ethnic subgroup.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a health disparities researcher working with multiethnic population. I have conducted national (epidemiological) study on Asian Indians as well as intervention programs in India and Mexico.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.