Depressed seniors use alternative medicine

Jul 06, 2006

U.S. researchers say people over 65 who are depressed or anxious use complementary or alternative medicine more often than other seniors.

Associate Professor Joseph Grzywacz and colleagues at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found 34.9 percent of people over 65 who had symptoms of anxiety or depression used complementary or alternative medicine, or CAM, compared with 26.5 percent of those without such mental symptoms.

When praying for health is considered a form of CAM, the percentage jumps to 81.7 percent of those with mental symptoms and 64.6 percent of those without.

But the results surprisingly showed fewer than 20 percent of those with anxiety or depression used CAM to treat it, the scientists said.

"Based on previous research and models of health self management, it was anticipated that CAM use would be greater among older adults with self-reported anxiety or depression than those without such conditions," said Grzywacz.

Grzywacz said mental disorders among older adults are under-diagnosed and under-treated because many believe depressive feelings are a natural part of aging and are not something requiring treatment.

The study is reported in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Team finds new genetic anomalies in lung cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Abandoned asbestos mines still a hazard in India

59 minutes ago

Asbestos waste spills in a gray gash down the flank of a lush green hill above tribal villages in eastern India. Three decades after the mines were abandoned, nothing has been done to remove the enormous, ...

Bone loss drugs may help prevent endometrial cancer

2 hours ago

A new analysis suggests that women who use bisphosphonates—medications commonly used to treat osteoporosis and other bone conditions—have about half the risk of developing endometrial cancer as women who do not use the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.