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Baby boomers reported significantly higher rates of CAM use than the silent generation for both chronic diseases and painful conditions.

Family physicians caring for the aging population must use patient-centered communication about the risks/benefits of CAM, which is necessary to promote effective coping with chronic illnesses and pain.

We defined chronic diseases according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that identified heart disease, cancer, stroke, lung disease, and diabetes as the leading causes of death in the United States.

Heart disease status was determined by people who responded “yes” to any of the following questions: “Have you EVER been told by a doctor or health professional that you had coronary heart disease?

” Diabetes status was determined by people who responded “yes” to the question, “Have you EVER been told by a doctor or health professional that you have diabetes or sugar diabetes?

” Pain status was determined by people who responded “yes” to any of the following questions: “During the past 30 days, have you had any symptoms of pain, aching, or stiffness in or around a joint?

” We included every type except nonmelanoma skin cancer.” or “Please refer to pain that lasted a whole day or more.During the past 3 months, did you have: neck pain, lower back pain, facial ache or pain in the jaw muscles or the joint in front of the ear (facial pain), severe headache or migraine (head pain)?This study was approved by the institutional review board at Johns Hopkins University.The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines CAM as a group of diverse systems, practices, and products used in the health care field that are not considered part of conventional medicine.

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