Introduction: Although prior studies have examined the prevalence of dietary supplement use among various populations, data on single vitamins prescribed by health care providers are limited. Objective: This study examined trends in single-vitamin supplement (A, C, D, E, K) prescriptions by providers from military treatment facilities from 2007 to 2011. Methods: We examined prescription data from the Department of Defense Pharmacy Data Transaction Service to determine trends in the aforementioned single-vitamin supplement prescriptions. Prescription rates per 1,000 active duty personnel were estimated using population data retrieved from the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (i.e., [number of prescriptions/population size] × 1,000). Results: Across the 5-year period, the number of vitamin D prescriptions per 1,000 active duty personnel increased 454%. In contrast, the number of vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K prescriptions per 1,000 active duty personnel decreased by 32%, 53%, and 29% respectively. Vitamin C prescriptions remained relatively constant. Across all age groups, total single-vitamin supplement prescriptions increased by 180%. Conclusion: Together, prescriptions examined in this study increased steadily from 2007 to 2011, primarily because of the increase in vitamin D prescriptions. The exhibited trend reflects the current general-population pattern of dietary supplement use, with large increases in vitamin D and declines in vitamin E.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health