HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Knowledge Assessment of Military Personnel, Veterans, and Family Taking Dietary Supplements

Article

Dietary supplements (DS) pose many side effects and multiple interactions with perioperative medications, which may increase surgical morbidity and mortality. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of use, type of supplements used, and the knowledge base among military beneficiaries and veterans consuming DS during the preoperative period.

Abstract

Dietary supplements (DS) pose many side effects and multiple interactions with perioperative medications, which may increase surgical morbidity and mortality. Descriptive empirical data are essentially nonexistent related to DS consumption and patient knowledge of DS. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of use, type of supplements used, and the knowledge base among military beneficiaries and veterans consuming DS during the preoperative period. This descriptive cross-sectional study solicited data from 2,623 volunteer, preoperative patients at 6 different military medical centers throughout the United States. Of the 2,623 participants, 847 (32.3%) reported taking at least 1 DS. Relevant to the surgical population, 154 (18.1%) of participants reported consuming DS that are associated with an increased risk of bleeding. Importantly, we found that 89.7% of patients taking DS were not aware of any potential side effects, and 97.1% lacked knowledge regarding any potential medication interactions between the supplement consumed and their prescribed medications. This vast knowledge gap could have deleterious effects on surgical outcomes. An increase in DS research is needed, and patient education should be incorporated routinely during preoperative assessments provided by military and Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities.

Full Reference

Ceremuga TE, Ayala MP, Henson DT, Chicoine CRW, Celestino MJ, Chun CSM, DeGroot CJM, Glynn CAE, Randall CSA, Stanley MLR, Beaumont CDM. Knowledge Assessment of Military Personnel, Veterans, and Family Taking Dietary Supplements. AANA J. 2020 Jun;88(3):191-202. PMID: 32442096.