Most Cardiologists Overlook Nutraceutical Use Among Heart Patients

This is an information about two early online releases and two articles being published in the July 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The information is not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. Annals of Internal Medicine attribution is required for all coverage. For an embargoed copy of a study, contact Angela Collom at [email protected] or 215-351-2653.

In This Issue:

Clinical Observation:

Most Cardiologists Ignore Nutraceutical and OTC Drug Use Among Heart Patients

Half of all patients worldwide, and especially those with chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, use nutraceuticals and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. However, these patients often do not discuss the use of these agents with their clinicians. Researchers evaluated cardiologits' attitudes towards and accuracy in identifying their patients' nutraceutical and OTC drug use. A clinical pharmacist observed patient interactions and recorded how the provider inquired about nutraceutical and OTC drug use. When the clinician left the room, the observer asked the patient about nutriceutical and OTC drug use. While the pharmacists identified 54 patients who together were using 86 nutraceuticals and 45 OTC drugs, the providers only identified nutraceutical and OTC use during seven encounters. According to the researchers, "providers neglect evaluation of these agents because they consider them innocuous; lump them with dietary measures and lifestyle interventions; or consider them to be 'natural' and, therefore, safe and effective." The researchers conclude that clinicians should use a structured approach for identifying patient use of nutraceuticals and OTC drugs.

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