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CDC: Regional Trends Seen for Complementary Health Services

U.S. study shows geographic trends in use of complementary and alternative medicine

WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga and meditation are popular on the West Coast, Midwesterners often turn to chiropractors or osteopathic doctors, and nearly one in every five Americans use herbal supplements. These are among the findings of a new federal government report published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's April edition of the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.

After looking at data on almost 35,000 people across the country, the researchers found that yoga with deep breathing or meditation is about 40 percent more common in the Pacific and Mountain states than in the country overall. They also found that use of chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation is nearly twice as high in the "West North Central region" -- from the Dakotas and Minnesota down to Kansas and Missouri -- than the rest of the United States. People in the Pacific, Mountain and West North Central states are more likely to use massage therapy, compared with the rest of the country. In general, people living in southern and Mid-Atlantic states have less use for complementary or alternative medicine, the researchers found.

There was one notable exception, however -- in all parts of the country, large numbers of people appear to be using herbal dietary supplements. About 18 percent of Americans use herbal supplements, more than double that of the next most popular complementary medicines -- chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation (8.5 percent) and yoga (8.4 percent).

"It is important to continue to monitor the use of these complementary health approaches among the U.S. population," coauthor Tainya Clarke, from the CDC, told HealthDay. "By highlighting regional differences, we can stimulate further research and help people make informed decisions."

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