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July 25, 2016
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CDC: Demand for Holistic Medicine is Surging—Even Among the Poor

By Erik Goldman

CDC pie chart new Centers for Disease Control report based on interviews with almost 45,000 Americans indicates that public engagement with “complementary” practitioners and natural products is surging---and not just among affluent people.

Richard Nahin, PhD, MPH, and colleagues at the National Center for Health Statistics, estimate that Americans are spending upwards of $30 billion per year, out-of-pocket, on non-conventional medical services. The largest share of that --$14.7 billion—is for services from holistic practitioners. Spending on supplements and natural products is estimated at $12.8 billion annually.

Dr. Nahin and colleagues extrapolated those the stats from a massive, federally-funded 2012 interview project that involved 44,743 adults and children comprising what the investigators believe is a demographically accurate representation of the non-institutionalized US population as a whole.

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