Korean Diabetes Journal 2005;29(3):231-238.
Published online May 1, 2005.
Resurvey of Alternative Medicine in Korean Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus after 10Years.
Kyung Wook Lee, Seong Bin Hong, Kee Young Min, Seung Yong Lee, Moonsuk Nam, Yong Seong Kim, Chul Woo Ahn, Bong Soo Cha, Kyung Rae Kim, Hyun Chul Lee, Kwan Woo Lee, Tae Sun Park
1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine Inha University, Incheon, Korea.
2Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
4Department of Internal Medicine, Chonbuk National University School of Medicine, Jeonju, Korea.
Despite tremendous advances in modern medicine, the interest in alternative medicine, including those medicines used for the treatment of diabetes has intensified throughout the industrialized world. We conducted a clinical resurvey of the dlternative medicines used for diabetic treatment, and we compared the results with those from the previous survey. METHODS: From July through October 2004, a total of 1,233 type 2 diabetics attending diabetes clinics in five university hospitals were interviewed and asked 14 questions that were identical to those questions asked 10 years ago during the earlied study. RESULTS: On the average, the respondents, having an average age of 58.9+/-11.4years, suffered diabetes for 8.7+/-7.3years with 7.7+/-1.4% HbA1c. The percentage of patients who experienced using alternative medicine for diabetic treatment plummeted from 73.9% to 33.2% over the last 10 years. Herbal medicine maintained its high popularity with increase an being seen in supplementary food use. The average per-capita spending on alternative medicine changed from 520,000 Korea Won on five types of medicine in 1994 to 730,000 on two types of medicine in 2004. Regarding the information sources, the family and relatives topped the list again(70.3%). Information sources such as mass media almost doubled to 20.2%, and the internet accounted for 1.2% in 2004. The majority of the users said again in 2004 that the medicine was `inefficacious'(63.5%) but those who answered positively inched up by 3.1% from 14.5% in 1994. To the question if they would try a new alternative medicine, the majority answered negatively in 2004(43% of the experienced group, 52.3% of the inexperienced group), and this was unlike the results in 1994 when the positive responses prevailed(78.6% and 72.7% respectively). CONCLUSION: Alternative medicine use among the type 2 diabetic patients has declined in the last 10 years. The patients overall attitude toward alternative medicine has turned negative, and this is primarily attributable the to continuous, proper education by mass media and social groups
Key Words: Alternative medicine, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Resurvey

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