Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study analyzes variations in antibiotic prescribing among older patients

Date:
September 24, 2012
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A study of Medicare data suggests there was wide variation in antibiotic prescribing for older patients based on geography and the season in which the prescriptions for the medication were written.

A study of Medicare data suggests there was wide variation in antibiotic prescribing for older patients based on geography and the season in which the prescriptions for the medication were written, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

The overuse of antibiotics is common and can lead to unnecessary spending on prescription medicine, as well as increase the risk for adverse effects and antimicrobial resistance, according to the study background. "Findings on variation in antibiotic prescribing can guide policy efforts to improve more targeted areas or specific therapeutic subclasses of antibiotics," the authors comment.

Yuting Zhang, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues used Medicare Part D data from 2007 through 2009 (comprising about 1 million patients per year) to examine geographic variation in antibiotic use among older adults in 306 hospital referral regions, 50 states and the District of Columbia, and four national regions (South, West, Midwest and Northeast). They also studied quarterly change in antibiotic use across the four regions.

The highest antibiotic use was in the South and the lowest was in the West. In the South, 21.4 percent of patients per quarter used an antibiotic whereas 17.4 percent of patients per quarter used an antibiotic in the West. The rate in the Midwest was 19.2 percent, according to the study results.

Researchers also report that, regardless of region, the rate of antibiotic use was highest in the first quarter of the year (20.9 percent, January through March) and lowest during the third quarter (16.9 percent, July through September).

"Overall, areas with high rates of antibiotic use may benefit from more targeted programs to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. Although antibiotic use in the regions with lower use does not necessarily represent the clinically appropriate use given that overuse of antibiotics is common, quality improvement programs set attainable targets using the low-prescribing areas (i.e. the states in the West) as a reference," the authors note.

Researchers conclude: "Although older adults may have higher risk for adverse outcomes from infection, they may also be at particularly high risk for adverse outcomes from antibiotic use. Therefore, it might be necessary to target some quality improvement initiatives toward this age group."

Commentary: Judicious Antibiotic Use in Practice

In an invited commentary, Ralph Gonzales, M.D., M.S.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues write: "We believe that the persistence of antibiotic overuse in theUnited States is a failure to translate national public health priorities and evidence into local practice and policies."

"We need to find better ways to compel individuals and organizations to address the significance of the problem of antibiotic overuse and to increase the readiness for change and quality improvement of ambulatory practices in the United States," they continue.

"Strategies to achieve transformation at these levels may need to differ substantially from the current educational approaches that have been in use among patients and clinicians thus far," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Study analyzes variations in antibiotic prescribing among older patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924175203.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2012, September 24). Study analyzes variations in antibiotic prescribing among older patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924175203.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Study analyzes variations in antibiotic prescribing among older patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924175203.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins