Mainland China is one of the world’s most rapidly aging countries, and yet there is very limited literature on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use in older individuals. This study aimed to determine the national and provincial prevalence of TCM practitioner utilization in later life and associated factors. We used World Health Organization China Study on Global Aging and Adult Health Wave 1 data to determine descriptive statistics of the study population of participants aged 50 years and over. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted controlling for sociodemographic and health factors. A total of 14% of participants utilized a TCM practitioner, and the prevalence of utilization varied significantly by locality. Utilization was more likely in participants living in rural areas [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 12.96; p
< 0.001], Hubei (OR = 7.17; p
< 0.001), or Shandong provinces (OR = 4.21; p
< 0.001) and being diagnosed with chronic lung disease (OR = 1.97; p
= 0.005). Hence, rurality, provincial influence, and chronic lung diseases are significant factors associated with TCM practitioner utilization among older individuals in China. These findings may inform policy for preservation and development of TCM nationally as well as its sustainability in an increasingly aging society.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited