The Great Canadian Fart Survey

Gifford Jones May 4, 2003 This week it’s tough getting back to work. I’ve just returned from a cruise around South America’s Cape Horn. Each day I was pampered on Holland America’s ship, the Ryndham. Then a stay in Rio de Janeiro strolling Copacabana’s magnificent beach. One doesn’t forget the bikini-clad Latin ladies! So still in a vacation mood I’ve searched hard and long for a lighter topic for this week’s column. I finally found The Great Canadian Fart Survey. This study will never be nominated for a Nobel Prize. It’s certainly not a topic for a sedate dinner party. But there are some amazing facts suitable for Trivial Pursuit. Besides the problem is universal. Kings, Queens and the rest of us are all affected by it. So what did the report prove. I have to be cautious on this one as I have no intention of offending any province. But the survey revealed that Manitobans experience the most flatus!

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Alternative Medicine Use by Canadian Ambulatory Gastroenterology Patients: Secular Trend or Epidemic?

METHODS: An 80-item questionnaire, addressing symptoms, general health, quality of life, and AM use, was administered and analyzed using logistic regression. RESULTS: 52.5% of 341 participants used AM in the previous year. Most commonly used were herbal medicine (45.2% of users; 95% CI 35.452.5%), chiropractor (40.7%; 95% CI 31.448.0%), and massage therapy (22.9%; 95% CI 15.929.1%). Reasons prompting AM use were ineffective medical therapy (39.5%; 95% CI 30.446.8%), a greater sense of self-control (29.1%; 95% CI 21.235.7%), agreement with personal beliefs (19.5%; 95% CI 13.125.4%), and conventional drug adverse-effects (17.3%; 95% CI 11.222.9%). AM use was predicted as follows: (1) higher education (odds ratio (OR) 2.10; 95% CI 1.223.60), (2) comorbid medical conditions (OR 1.80; 95% CI 1.083.00), 3) poor mental component summary score of the SF-12 health survey (OR 1.04; 95% CI 1.011.07), and (4) higher annual income (OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.0011.36), but was not related to response to conventional medical therapy. AM practitioners had instructed 8.6% to change prescription medications. AM usage for gastrointestinal disease was greater in patients with IBD (44.6%vs 10.0%; p< 0.05), who were more likely to cite adverse drug effects as a reason for AM use (28.9 vs 14.4%; p= 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: AM was used by 52.5% of gastroenterology outpatients and its use was greater in those with a higher level of education, comorbid conditions, poorer mental health-related quality of life, and higher income. Drug-related side effects also led to increased AM use. Main navigation

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