Author(s): Rivera JO, GonzlezStuart A, Ortiz M, Rodrguez JC, Anaya JP,
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Abstract PURPOSE: The primary endpoint of this study was to determine the prevalence of herbal product use by a sample of Mexican-American patients in the El Paso, TX region. Even though medicinal plants are popularly assumed to be a safe and natural alternative to conventional medications, some herbal products may pose a potential health risk to the consumer. Currently, there are few studies related to herbal use by Mexican Americans and none in HIV patients living on the U.S./México border. METHODS: A prospective observational study was conducted in hospitals and clinics throughout the El Paso region area. A semistructured interview was conducted by trained bilingual interviewers. A 45-item bilingual questionnaire was used to collect the information. RESULTS: A total of 439 non-HIV patients as well as 35 patients afflicted with HIV participated in the study. Seventy-nine percent (347/439) of non-HIV and 71\% (25/35) of HIV patients reported using herbal products. The percentages of herbal use among the two groups did not show any statistically significant differences (p=0.29), and both groups reflected that herbal products are commonly used. CONCLUSIONS: The use of herbal products was very common among non-HIV (79\%) and HIV-positive (71\%) Mexican-Americans patients in the El Paso region.
This article was published in J Natl Med Assoc
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access