How The Elderly Utilize Chiropractic In The US

From the Australian scientific journal, Chiropractic & Osteopathy, comes a report dated September 6, 2007 that chronicles how elderly adults in the United States utilize chiropractic care. The study interviewed over four thousand seniors over 70 years of age, and then correlated those interviews to Medicare records. The results of the study were then extrapolated to give a picture of the overall population.

The research, headed by Dr. Fredric D Wolinsky, and Dr. Gary E Rosenthal of the Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice (CRIISP) at the Iowa City VA Medical Center reported that on an annual basis about 4.6% of seniors 70 or older see a chiropractor. These seniors are more likely to be in pain and have a means of self transportation to get to the chiropractor’s office.

The report also noted that predominantly, there were unexplainable racial discrepancies noting that, “African Americans and Hispanics are simply much less likely to visit chiropractors than Whites in the United States”. Researchers also reported that those who used chiropractic were much more likely to have arthritis and/or drink alcohol.

The report showed that over the 4 year study about 30% of those seniors who did have chiropractic visits continued to see a chiropractor over at least three of the four years studied. Researchers concluded that these seniors made chiropractic a regular part of their healthcare regime. Conversely, about 48 percent of those who visited a chiropractor did not have any visits in more than one of the four years in the study. They also found that, “among those who had seen a chiropractor, the volume of chiropractic visits was lower for those who lived alone, had lower incomes, and poorer cognitive abilities, while it was greater for the overweight and those with lower body limitations.”