Vol 22, No 5 (2015)
Original articles
Published online: 2015-10-27

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Dietary supplement consumption among cardiac patients admitted to internal medicine and cardiac wards

Orith Karny-Rahkovich, Alex Blatt, Gabby Atalya Elbaz-Greener, Tomer Ziv-Baran, Ahuva Golik, Matityahu Berkovitch
DOI: 10.5603/CJ.a2015.0039
Pubmed: 26100832
Cardiol J 2015;22(5):510-518.


Background: Dietary supplements may have adverse effects and potentially interact with conventional medications. They are perceived as “natural” products, free of side effects with no need for medical consultation. Little is known about consumption of dietary supplements by patients with cardiac diseases. The objective of this study was to investigate dietary supplement consumption among cardiac patients admitted to internal and cardiology wards. Potential drug-dietary supplement interactions were also assessed.

Methods: During a period of 6 months, patients with cardiac disease hospitalized in the Internal Medicine and Cardiology Wards at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center were evaluated regarding their dietary supplement consumption. A literature survey examining possible drug-supplement interaction was performed.

Results: Out of 149 cardiac patients, 45% were dietary supplement consumers. Patients ad­mitted to the Internal Medicine Wards consumed more dietary supplements than those admit­ted to the Cardiology Division. Dietary supplement consumption was associated with older age (OR = 1.05, p = 0.022), female gender (OR = 2.94, p = 0.014) and routine physical activity (OR = 3.15, p = 0.007). Diabetes mellitus (OR = 2.68, p = 0.020), hematological diseases (OR = 13.29, p = 0.022), and the use of anti-diabetic medications (OR = 4.28, p = 0.001) were independently associated with dietary supplement intake. Sixteen potential moderate interactions between prescribed medications and dietary supplements were found.

Conclusions: Consumption of dietary supplements is common among cardiac patients. It is more common in those admitted to Internal Medicine Departments than in those admitted to the Cardiology Wards. Due to the risk of various drug-supplement interactions consumed by patients with cardiac diseases, there is a need to increase awareness and knowledge among medical staff regarding the intake of dietary supplements.