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In December 2008, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the National Center for Health Statistics (part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released new findings on Americans' use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Many Americans—more than 30 percent of adults and about 12 percent of children—use health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine.

Researchers are currently exploring the potential benefits of integrative health in a variety of situations, including pain management for military personnel and veterans, relief of symptoms in cancer patients and survivors, and programs to promote healthy behaviors. Department of Veterans Affairs, and other agencies are sponsoring research to see whether integrative approaches can help.

Chronic pain is a common problem among active-duty military personnel and veterans. For example, NCCIH-funded studies are testing the effects of adding mindfulness meditation, self-hypnosis, or other complementary approaches to pain management programs for veterans.

Future reports will be published by NCHS and posted on the NCCIH web site.

The mission of NCCIH is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.

The report's citation is Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin R. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007. It is available, along with a press release and graphics, at gov/news/camstats/.

People who do not have access to the Internet can contact the NCCIH Clearinghouse for a copy.

Figure 7: 10 Most Common Therapies Among Children (2007) Figure 8: Most Common Natural Products Among Children (2007) Figure 9: Diseases/Conditions for Which CAM is Most Frequently Used Among Children (2007) NCCIH plans to collaborate with NCHS on further analyses of the survey findings.