Dietary supplements responsible for 23k ED visits a year, study finds

Adverse events associated with dietary supplements are responsible for an estimated 23,000 emergency department visits each year, according to a study from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

The study included surveillance data from 2004 to 2013. The data revealed weight-loss or energy products were commonly linked to heart problems among young adults ages 20 to 34 visiting the ED. Additionally, unsupervised ingestion of supplements by children accounted for one-fifth of the ED visits.

Among older adults aged 65 and over, 37 percent of ED visits for supplement-related adverse events involved swallowing problems such as choking on pills.

According to lead author, senior associate with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory and CDC medical officer Andrew Geller, MD, the study findings are important because dietary supplements tend to be presumed safe. As such, they are regulated differently from over-the-counter or prescription products.

"Unlike pharmaceuticals, which have to demonstrate both benefits and safety, dietary supplements can be sold without that information," said Dr. Geller. "Perhaps these findings can help target interventions to reduce safety risks."


More articles on adverse events:
EHR opioid warning system may trigger alarm fatigue, study finds
Prophylaxis compression system reduces blood clots and costs
Medical errors in Connecticut down 12%

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars