Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences


Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science

First Advisor

Patricia W. Slattum

Second Advisor

Scott M. Ratliff

Third Advisor

Pramit A. Nadpara


Background: Dietary supplements (DS) use has increased in the U.S. in the past 20 years. More than half of the U.S. population reported using DS. There are few studies to our knowledge that have assessed DS use specifically for older adults. In this study we purposed to evaluate the trend of using DS among older adults and to test the association between using DS and several demographics, socioeconomics and health characteristics. The second objective was to evaluate the reasons behind using DS among older adults using a nationally representative database.

Methods: This is a cross sectional study using the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database 2009-2012. It is a nationally representative sample of noninstitutionalized adults in the U.S. Frequency and weighted percentage (standard error) were reported for dichotomous variables. Multiple logistic regressions model analyses were used to evaluate the predictors of DS use after testing model assumptions, multicollinearity, and outliers. P values 0.05 were considered significant. All the statistical analyses were conducted using SAS software version 9.4.

Results: Out of 2625 older adult participants (65 years and older) 70.5% of them reported using DS in the past 30 days. Female, non-hispanic white, obese, overweight and excellent and very good self-reported health status participants were more likely to use DS. Multivitamin-multiminerals (MVMM), calcium and vitamin D were the most commonly reported supplements among older adults. 71% of oldest old (80≥ years) reported taking DS and prescription medication in the past 30 days concomitantly and 73% of polypharmacy users reported using DS. To stay healthy, to improve overall health and for bone health were the most commonly reported reasons behind using DS.

Conclusion: majority of older adult participants reported using DS in the past 30 days. Health care professionals need to evaluate the dietary supplement information from older adults in order to improve health care.


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Available for download on Saturday, May 02, 2020