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Correlates of vitamin supplement use in the United States: data from the California Teachers Study cohort.


OBJECTIVE:To describe factors associated with vitamin supplement use in a large cohort of adult women. METHODS:California teachers and administrators (n = 133,479) completed a questionnaire on lifestyle factors and medical history. Specific supplement users regularly used at least one specific vitamin supplement in the past year; multivitamin users regularly used a multivitamin; and multivitamin and specific supplement users took a multivitamin and one or more specific supplements. Associations between supplement use and other variables were quantified using means, cross-tabulations, and age-adjusted prevalence odds ratios. RESULTS:Multivitamin and specific supplement users tended to be older and Caucasian. Compared to non-users, they were also leaner (odds ratio [OR] for BMI > or = 30 kg/m2 = 0.6 for specific supplement users with or without multivitamins, and OR = 0.7 for multivitamin only users), and were less likely to be current smokers (OR for current smoking = 0.8 for multivitamin plus specific supplement users, OR = 0.9 for specific supplement only users, and OR = 0.7 for multivitamin only users). Specific supplement users (with or without multivitamins) were more likely to use cancer screening tests, eat fruits and vegetables, and exercise than were multivitamin only users or non-users. CONCLUSIONS:A variety of demographic, dietary, and health-related factors were associated with different categories of supplement use.

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