Use of select dietary supplements among individuals with diabetes or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

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Prior research on the use of dietary supplements (DSs) has examined the characteristics of users compared to non-users; however, most studies have generally surveyed healthy populations and have not asked whether users discuss their DS intake with their healthcare providers.


The objective of this study was to characterise the use of select DSs among individuals with chronic disease, and to assess the degree to which they discussed DS use with their healthcare provider.


A telephone survey was administered to a subset of individuals who were subsequently randomised into a larger clinical trial. Participants were asked about the frequency and types of DS used, with electronic medical records used to capture clinical characteristics. Participants were aged ≥40 years and had diabetes mellitus or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.


Among the 833 survey respondents, 56.3% of respondents reported daily DS use. Daily DS users were more likely to be older, female, have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and better medication adherence. The most commonly used supplements were multivitamins, omega 3 supplements and vitamin D. Approximately one-third of users reported that they had not discussed DS use with their healthcare provider.


Given the high prevalence of DS use in this population, it is critical that healthcare providers discuss DS use with their patients so that the safety and health of these patients are not compromised.

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