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Expenditures on complementary health approaches : United States, 2012
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  • Description:
    OBJECTIVE: This report presents estimates of expenditures on complementary health approach use among the U.S. population. Estimates are presented for adults and children separately and combined, as well as stratified by type of approach and family income.

    METHODS: Combined data from 44,743 individuals aged 4 years and over, collected as part of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, were analyzed for this report. Sample data were weighted to produce national estimates that are representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population. Differences between percentages were evaluated using two-sided significance tests at the 0.05 level. Linear regression was used to assess trends in expenditures when stratifying by family income.

    RESULTS: An estimated 59 million persons aged 4 years and over had at least one expenditure for some type of complementary health approach, resulting in total out-of-pocket expenditures of $30.2 billion. More was spent on visits to complementary practitioners ($14.7 billion) than for purchases of natural product supplements ($12.8 billion) or self-care approaches ($2.7 billion). The mean per user out-of-pocket expenditure for visits to a complementary practitioner ($433) was significantly more than for purchases of natural product supplements ($368) or for self-care approaches ($257). Adults had higher mean annual out-of-pocket expenditures for visits to complementary practitioners than children ($442 and $291, respectively). Total out-of-pocket expenditures and mean per user out-of pocket expenditures for complementary health approaches increased significantly as family income increased. The mean per user out-of-pocket expenditure for complementary health approaches was $435 for

    persons with family incomes less than $25,000 and $590 for persons with family incomes of $100,000 or more.

    Suggested citation: Nahin RL, Barnes PM, Stussman BJ. Expenditures on complementary health approaches: United States, 2012. National health statistics reports; no 95. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016.


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