|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 329-332
A survey of multivitamin supplement knowledge, attitude, and use in the urban community of Bikaner, Rajasthan
Savita Saini1, Najmul Hasan2
1 Department of Pharmacology, Sardar Patel Medical College, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Pharmacology, Pacific Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
|Date of Web Publication||18-Sep-2015|
Plot No-C/21, Gyansarovar Colony, Kota, Rajasthan
Source of Support: Nil., Conflict of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest.
Background and Objective: Over the last two decades, there has been a trend for people to supplement their nutritional intake with dietary supplements including multivitamins, which are also commonly prescribed as a concomitant medication. We conducted a community-based survey in an urban population to assess consumers' knowledge, practices, and attitudes regarding multivitamin supplements. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted from November 2013 to April 2014 among 500 participants residing in urban areas of Bikaner (Rajasthan). The data were collected in a predesigned questionnaire after obtaining written informed consent from each participant. Results: The survey results showed that the taking of multivitamin supplements is quite prevalent (64.2%) in the community of urban areas of Bikaner. Physicians were found to be the most common source of information regarding multivitamins; however, consumers do get the information from the internet, newspaper, and relatives also. Multiple reasons were quoted for the practice of multivitamins such as maintenance of general health, compensation for the deficiencies, etc. The majority of the respondents were unaware of the correct indications for use of vitamin supplements and had little knowledge of harmful effects. Conclusion: This survey in an urban population highlights that the multivitamin supplements are commonly taken on a daily basis. Most consumers are unaware of any possible side-effects or drug-supplement interactions. There is a continuing need to adopt certain educational interventions for physicians to update and disseminate knowledge of vitamin supplements to their patients and also to increase awareness regarding their correct usage.
Keywords: Multivitamin supplements, over-the-counter medication, urban area
|How to cite this article:|
Saini S, Hasan N. A survey of multivitamin supplement knowledge, attitude, and use in the urban community of Bikaner, Rajasthan. CHRISMED J Health Res 2015;2:329-32
|How to cite this URL:|
Saini S, Hasan N. A survey of multivitamin supplement knowledge, attitude, and use in the urban community of Bikaner, Rajasthan. CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Aug 25];2:329-32. Available from: http://www.cjhr.org/text.asp?2015/2/4/329/165743
| Introduction|| |
Dietary supplements, including multivitamins are often taken by healthy people to compensate for an unhealthy lifestyle, for supplementing nutrition or in an attempt to enhance health and performance. Multivitamin supplements are also commonly prescribed by physicians as a concomitant medication for mild to severe chronic illness.
In the past few decades, the use of dietary supplements, including multivitamins has increased substantially. Increasing health awareness, education, and easy availability of multivitamin supplements as over the counter agents are important reasons for their widespread use.
Since the establishment of National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 1998, there has been increased information availability concerning the appropriate use and place in therapy of dietary supplements; however not all information has been positive. In a randomized controlled trial conducted in USA by Sesso et al. it was found that daily multivitamin supplement use did not reduce cardiovascular events, myocardial infarction or stroke in men. The hidden and growing phenomenon of vitamin supplement polypharmacy poses a significant public health problem and may place some population at greater risk of clinical complications arising from adverse drug reactions or interactions.
There is paucity of studies in India on this issue; therefore, we conducted this survey to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and use of multivitamin supplements in the community of urban areas of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A descriptive cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted from November 2013 to April 2014 among the people living in urban areas of Bikaner, Rajasthan. The study was approved by the institutional ethics committee.
- Men/women between the age 18 and 65 years
- People voluntarily giving consent.
- Persons working in the health sector at any level.
To calculate the sample size, the participants were recruited randomly on the basis that they passed the inclusion criteria.
A total of 500 subjects from different groups like a government employee, students, and employee of the private sector were enrolled randomly, and the purpose of the survey was explained to them.
After obtaining the written informed consent, the information was collected in a self-designed questionnaire containing two sections. Thefirst section included the questions regarding the sociodemographic information. The second section consisted of questions-related to awareness of vitamin supplements, sources of information, reasons, and frequency of vitamin supplement usage.
At the end of the survey, data were compiled in Microsoft excel program (Indostat software) and expressed as counts and percentages.
| Results|| |
Of the 500 study participants, 210 were males (42%) and 290 were females (58%). The demographics of the respondents are presented in [Table 1].
The findings of this study showed that the majority (64.2%) of the participants were users of multivitamin supplements. Physicians were found to be the most common source of information regarding multivitamins (54.8%), however, participants do get the information from the newspaper, internet and relatives also [Figure 1].
Multiple reasons were quoted for the practice of multivitamins, and the maintenance of general health was found to be the most frequently cited reason [Figure 2].
The survey findings are presented in [Table 2] regarding the knowledge, attitudes, and use of multivitamins.
|Table 2: Multivitamin supplement knowledge, attitudes and use among study participants (n=500)|
Click here to view
| Discussion|| |
The results of our survey depicted that the practice of multivitamin supplements is quite prevalent (64.2%) in the community of urban areas of Bikaner. Our findings are quite comparable with those of a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey., Likewise, a study conducted by Reinert et al. reported that about 40% of the population were consumers of vitamin or mineral supplements.
Similar to previous studies, in this survey also multiple reasons were mentioned by the participants for using vitamin supplements.,, In the current survey, most of the respondents received knowledge about the multivitamin supplements from their physician (54.8%). However, participants do get the information from the internet, newspaper, and relatives also. This finding is in accordance with the research by Leah et al.
Nutrient composition of multivitamins is extremely variable which can lead to excessive use and hence possible adverse effects. A research conducted by Chugh and Lhama in India found that the majority of the supplements available in the market contained nutrient amounts higher than the recommended dietary intakes.,
In the present survey, more than half of the participants (62%) reported the consumption of vitamin supplements on a daily basis. Similar results were reported by Mary et al. where 44.6% of the participants took one supplement daily. Vitamin supplements are presumed to be safe and are freely available without a prescription to all., Around ½ (55.8%) of the respondents in our survey reported to be unaware of the harmful effects of vitamin supplements. Ignorance of the consumers regarding potential adverse effects reflects their false belief that these medications are safe.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]
[Table 1], [Table 2]