HEALTH

Study finds most nurse practitioners recommend dietary supplements to patients

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The vast majority of nurse practitioners are actively recommending dietary supplements to their patients, the CRN Foundation, an educational affiliate of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, announced Wednesday.

According to a recent survey linked to its Life … Supplemented 2009 Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, 96% of nurse practitioners recommend dietary supplements to their patients, and their reasons are varied — most often for bone health (63% recommend for this reason), overall health and wellness (47%) and to fill nutrition gaps (44%).

As many as 81% of nurse practitioners personally inquire about which supplements patients are taking (and only 3% stated that no one in the practice inquires about supplements). When asked who brings up the subject of supplements most often, 55% of nurse practitioners said they personally ask, with 28% crediting nurse practitioners and patients equally, and only 17% crediting solely the patient.

 

"Nurse practitioners are very interested in integrative healthcare options, looking at the overall wellness picture, and figuring out how we focus on health maintenance and preventive approaches," stated Barbara Dehn, a practitioner with Women’s Physicians in Mountain View, Calif. and advisor to the "Life…supplemented" program. “I recommend my patients start with the basics: eat right, incorporate vitamins and other supplements and exercise regularly."

 

 

According to the study, nurse practitioners are personally incorporating the three pillars of health into their own lives:  84% said they try to eat a balanced diet, 95% take dietary supplements and 64% exercise regularly.

 

 

More than three-quarters of nurse practitioners are currently supplementing with a multivitamin; 64% are supplementing with calcium; 48% omega 3/fish oils; 23% botanicals like green tea; 18% glucosamine/chondroitin; and 17% fiber.

 

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Missouri selects NPLEx e-tracking program to block PSE sales

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Missouri has selected the National Precursor Log Exchange to serve as its statewide, real-time electronic blocking system to stop illegal sales of medications containing pseudoephedrine, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association announced Monday.

“We are delighted that Missouri has joined Kentucky, Illinois and Louisiana as the fourth state in the nation to adopt NPLEx as its e-tracking program,” stated Linda Suydam, CHPA president. “This system offers an effective solution to reducing meth labs and is the only solution that works across state lines to stop meth cooks from crossing borders to make illegal purchases.”

NPLEx is a real time, electronic tracking system that blocks illegal purchases of PSE store by store, city by city, and state by state to prevent meth cooks from illegal purchases, the Association stated. Sheriffs in Kentucky report that e-tracking leads to up to 70% of its meth lab busts. In a Florida pilot project, e-tracking reduced illegal sales by more than 90%.

The state action comes as some of its local municipalities are considering making PSE-containing medicines available only with a doctor’s prescription. A recent survey, conducted by David Binder Research, showed that more than half of Missouri voters surveyed oppose making common cold and allergy medications containing PSE available by prescription only, and 78% agree that an Rx-only requirement would create an “unnecessary burden” for law-abiding citizens.

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New CDC study shows herpes remains prevalent in United States

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA Approximately 1-in-6 Americans (16.2%) between the ages of 14 and 49 years is infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), according to a national health survey released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HSV-2 is a lifelong and incurable infection that can cause recurrent and painful genital sores.

The findings, presented at the 2010 National STD Prevention Conference, indicated that herpes remains one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States.

The findings suggested relatively stable HSV-2 prevalence since CDC’s last national estimate (17% for 1999-2004), because the slight decline in prevalence between the two time periods is not statistically significant.

The study found that women and blacks were most likely to be infected. HSV-2 prevalence was nearly twice as high among women (20.9%) than men (11.5%), and was more than three times higher among blacks (39.2%) than whites (12.3%). The most affected group was black women, with a prevalence rate of 48%.

“This study serves as a stark reminder that herpes remains a common and serious health threat in the United States,” stated Kevin Fenton, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “We are particularly concerned about persistent high rates of herpes among African-Americans, which is likely contributing to disproportionate rates of HIV in the black community.”

Research shows that people with herpes are two to three times more likely to acquire HIV, and that herpes can also make HIV-infected individuals more likely to transmit HIV to others. CDC estimates that more than 80% of those with HSV-2 are unaware of their infection. Symptoms may be absent, mild, or mistaken for another condition. And people with HSV-2 can transmit the virus even when they have no visible sores or other symptoms.

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