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Second most common infection in the US proving harder to treat with current antibiotics
Date:11/13/2012

rrisome trends that suggest high levels of antibiotic overuse in the Southeastern region of the U.S. between 1999 and 2010. Unnecessary use makes antibiotics less effective in fighting off infections as microbes become more adept at surviving treatment when exposed to them over time.

Trends in UTI Infections and Antibiotic Overuse

Extending the Cure found that the burden of antibiotic resistance for urinary tract infections was highest in the Southeast, specifically in the East South Central and South Atlantic states. In contrast, states in New England and the Pacific regions of the country had lower levels of resistance. Prior work by ETC has shown that these regions are among the most intensive users of antibiotics, which likely speeds up the development of resistant strains of the bacteria causing these and other more serious infections.

Researchers also found significant regional variation and alarming regional trends in the use of antibiotics between 1999 and 2010:

  • Since 1999, the percentage of antibiotic prescriptions filled nationwide has dropped by 17%. However, high-consumption states are lagging in this positive trend and are seeing the smallest decrease in prescriptions, resulting in a widening use gap. Researchers found staggering geographic variation -- residents of Appalachian and Gulf Coast states, where antibiotic use rates are highest, take about twice as many antibiotics per capita as people living in Western states.
  • In 2010, the five states with the highest rates of antibiotic use in the nation were Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The maps show higher-than-average use of antibiotics in other regions of the country, as well.
  • In 2010, the five states with the lowest antibiotic use in the nation were Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington. Other Western and New England states also showed lower-than-average use.

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Contact: Dionne Dougall-Bass
dionne@burnesscommunications.com
301-961-5803
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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