Cognitive, behavioral, and environmental correlates of nutrient supplement use among independently living older adults

Mina S. Freeman, Roger G. Sargent, Patricia A. Sharpe, Jennifer L Waller, Frank M. Powell, Wanzer Drane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


To investigate correlates of vitamin and mineral supplement use among non-institutionalized older Americans, a purposive sample of 300 adults of age 60 years and older were surveyed to assess type, frequency, and dosage of supplement use; reasons for supplement use; health status and health-related behaviors; and cognitive and environmental independent variables. It was concluded that older adults were more likely to be regular users of supplements if they revealed a more favorable attitude toward supplement use, less dependence on physician intervention, greater environmental influence, and fewer perceived barriers to supplement use. Although knowledge about vitamins and minerals was not found to be a statistically significant correlate in the final logistic regression model, supplement use as a function of knowledge alone was significant. Subjects consuming moderate doses or megadoses of supplements had significantly higher scores on knowledge of vitamins and minerals, more favorable attitude toward supplement use, and fewer perceived barriers to supplement use than did users of low doses. Socio-economic status and race were found to be significantly associated with supplement use, 65 percent of supplement users reported to be of high or middle SES and 87 percent Caucasian. Subjects having lower fat intake, lower risk of malnutrition, higher rating of perceived health, and consistent exercise habits were also more likely to be consumers of supplements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-40
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Nutrition for the Elderly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 9 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this