Dietary supplement use in the spinal cord injury population
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STUDY DESIGN: Longitudinal, non-experimental. OBJECTIVES: To determine the following: (1) prevalence of supplement use in a representative sample of the chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) population; (2) most frequently consumed supplements; and (3) characteristics of consistent supplement users. SETTING: Ontario, Canada. METHODS: A structured questionnaire was used to collect demographic information from 77 community-dwelling adults with chronic SCI (50.6% paraplegia, 81.8% male, 42.4 + or - 11.9 years, body mass index (BMI) 25.4 + or - 5.1 kg m(-2)). A standardized form was used to record dietary intake, including supplements, in the previous 24 h, at three time points (baseline, 6 months and 18 months). Logistic regression and multivariate logistic regression were used to determine which characteristic(s) was (were) associated with consistent supplement use. RESULTS: Seventy-one percent of the sample reported using supplements at least once, with 50.6% being classified as consistent supplement users (at least twice across the three time points). The top three supplements consumed were multivitamins (25%), calcium (20%) and vitamin D (16%). Supplement use status was not associated with gender, level of injury, age, education, physical activity, BMI, smoking or alcohol intake. CONCLUSIONS: Dietary supplement use was common in our sample of individuals with long-standing SCI, but no common characteristics distinguished users from non-users. We suggest that health practitioners be aware of the high dietary supplement use in this population so that they can probe for type, dose and frequency, as supplements may have an important influence on dietary assessment results.
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