J Med Assoc Thai 2010; 93 (10):1128

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Nutritional Supplements in Health-Conscious Pre-/Post-Menopausal Thai Women
Leerasiri P Mail, Chayachinda C , Indhavivadhana S , Wongwananurak T , Dangrat C , Rattanachaiyanont M

Objective: To survey prevalence, knowledge, attitude, and factors affecting the behavior of nutritional supplement
consumption in health-conscious pre-/post-menopausal Thai women.

Material and Method: A survey was conducted in 327 women, aged 40-67 years, who were new participants in the health
promotion education program of Siriraj Menopause Clinic, Gynecologic Endocrinology Unit, Department of Obstetrics
and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, between January and July 2008. The
participants completed a self-administering questionnaire inquiring their demographic data, attitude, knowledge, and behavior
of supplement consumption. The participants were divided into three groups, i.e. current-, past-, and never-users, and
then compared.

Results: The majority (54.7%) of the presented participants consumed at least one kind of supplements, 37.3% and 17.4%
were current-and past-users, respectively. The current-, past-, and never-users were not different in age, medical diseases,
education levels, reading frequency, and economic status. The majority of participants obtained the information of supplements
from newspaper or magazine. The users primarily purchased the supplements from hospitals or clinics. All participants had
knowledge on health promotion and supplement products, however, 7.6% and 11.5% of such knowledge, respectively, was
inaccurate. All participants had both positive and negative attitudes on supplement consumption, the negative attitude was
found in 33.4% of the items tested. The never-users had trivial but statistically significant (p < 0.001) more accurate
knowledge and more negative attitude than other groups had.

Conclusion: More than 50% of health-conscious pre-/post-menopausal Thai women are ever-users of nutritional supplements.
A lot of misunderstanding and misconception do exist even in the health-conscious women, regardless of their consumption
behaviors. More education on this issue should be provided in order to reduce unnecessary expenditure and increase the
efficiency of supplement consumption expenditure.

Keywords: Attitude, Knowledge, Nutritional supplement, Menopause

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