A new study has found more people are using complementary and alternative medicines, often in combination with pharmaceuticals to treat arthritis and osteoporosis.
"We looked at five conditions - asthma, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease," ABC Science quoted co-author Professor Laurie Brown of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra as saying.
The study of more than 7800 adults found that approximately 24 per cent used complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs).
The CAMs included in the study were vitamin or mineral supplements and natural or herbal remedies, including homeopathy.
The highest use of CAMs was by women over the age of 60 years, who had osteoporosis and arthritis.
Around 40 per cent who had osteoporosis were using CAM products, either on their own or with prescribed medicines.
Aproximately 21 per cent of people with osteoporosis used only CAMs, whereas around 24 per cent used only pharmaceuticals, and 19 per cent used them in combination.
In the case of arthritis, 22 per cent used only CAMs, 22 per cent used only pharmaceuticals and 16 per cent used a combination.
The study was recently published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.