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Observational study
Emergency department visits and hospitalisations for adverse events related to dietary supplements are common
  1. Pieter A Cohen
  1. Harvard Medical School, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Professor Pieter Cohen, Harvard Medical School, 236 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143, USA; pcohen{at}

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Vitamins, minerals, probiotics, botanical extracts and other ingredients are sold as dietary supplements in the USA.1 Supplements are sold directly to consumers and do not require premarket approval. All supplements are presumed to be safe. However, prior research has found that individual supplements can pose serious health risks.2 ,3 This study was the first attempt to estimate the number of consumers in the USA who require emergency department (ED) visits or hospitalisations due to supplement adverse events.


The authors estimated the number of ED visits and hospital admissions for adverse events associated with dietary supplements in …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.