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Table 1 Characteristics of the study respondents

From: Acute adverse events from over-the-counter Chinese herbal medicines: a population-based survey of Hong Kong Chinese

  COTC users Non-users P (χ2) Total sample Hong Kong population
(n = 789) % (n = 311) % (n = 1100) % (95% CI)
Gender    0.284   
 Male 46.3% 49.8%   47.3% (44.3-50.2) 46.6%a
 Female 53.7% 50.2%   52.7% (49.9-55.7) 53.4%
Age group    0.782   
 18 – 24 y 10.0% 9.0%   9.7% (8.0-11.5) 10.2%a
 25 – 34 y 18.4% 21.5%   19.3% (16.9-21.6) 18.2%
 35 – 44 y 19.5% 18.0%   19.1% (16.8-21.4) 19.0%
 45 – 54 y 22.1% 20.3%   21.5% (19.1-24.0) 21.6%
 55 – 64 y 15.3% 14.8%   15.2% (13.1-17.3) 15.4%
 65 y or above 14.7% 16.4%   15.2% (13.9-17.3) 15.6%
Education    0.627   
 No formal schooling/Primary 15.9% 16.8%   16.2% (13.9-18.3) 25.4%b
 Secondary 1 - 7 55.5% 57.6%   56.1% (52.8-58.7) 51.5%
 At least some post-secondary 28.6% 25.7%   27.6% (24.9-30.2) 22.9%
Household income (1 USD = 7.8 HKD)    < 0.001   
 < 15000 HKD/month 22.5% 31.6%   25.1% (22.3-27.8) 43.1%b
 15000 – 29999 HKD/month 46.2% 33.8%   42.8% (39.7-45.9) 30.0%
 > 30000 HKD/month 31.2% 34.6%   32.2% (29.2-35.1) 26.9%
Employment status    0.402   
 Employed at least part-time 51.2% 50.0%   50.9% (47.9-53.8) 52.1%c
 Homemaker 25.0% 22.6%   24.3% (21.8-26.8) 18.5%
 Other (student, unemployed, retired) 23.8% 27.4%   24.9% (29.2-35.1) 29.0%
Health insurance      
 Have health insurance 52.3% 48.5% 0.263 51.2% (48.2-54.1) NA
Self-perceived health status    <0.001   
 Very good/Good 49.1% 55.2%   50.8% (47.8-53.7) NA
 About average 46.8% 38.5%   44.5% (41.5-47.4)  
 Bad/Very bad 4.0% 6.5%   4.8% (3.5-6.0)  
COTC-related adverse event history      
 Reported past year adverse event 3.2% NA   2.3% (1.3-3.1) NA
Correct response to COTC knowledge items (correct answer in parentheses)    
Cannot cause long term bodily damage (No) 24.0% 19.0% 0.09 22.7% (20.2-25.2) NA
Can negatively interact w/western drugs (Yes) 80.5% 77.5% 0.224 79.5% (77.1-81.9) NA
Can have interactions with herbal TCM (Yes) 51.6% 41.8% 0.003 48.9% (45.9-51.8) NA
COTC may have side effects (Yes) 73.9% 66.9% 0.984 71.9% (69.2-74.5) NA
Used only for acute illness (e.g. flu) (No) 45.3% 47.9% 0.443 47.2% (44.2-50.1) NA
Overdose is possible (Yes) 53.3% 53.2% 0.982 53.3% (50.3-56.2) NA
  1. a2011 Hong Kong Census provisional figures; b2006 Hong Kong Population By-Census; c2004 Hong Kong Population Health Survey; NA = Not available.