Key Findings

Key Findings

Antibiotic use and resistance: what's new?


Since its launch in 2010, ResistanceMap has helped inform researchers, policymakers, and the public of important trends in drug resistance and antibiotic use. The rapidly decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics is a major public health concern, one that has been recently highlighted in an unprecedented consensus statement between CDDEP and 25 leading national health care organizations.

In this updated version, ResistanceMap presents both a sleeker user interface and new data and trend analysis. Click the tabs below to see snapshots from our latest findings.

Antibiotic Use – Summary

Our original analysis of antibiotic use trends between the years of 1999-2007 found an overall 12% decrease in per-capita antibiotic prescriptions. However, this decrease was not uniform across the US: we also found alarmingly high use patterns in the Southeastern US states.

Newly added data from the years 2007-2010 shows the continuation of the downward national trend and the deepening of regional differences. Nationally, prescriptions fell to an all-time low for the past decade, marking a 17% decline between 1999-2010. However, states in Appalachia and on the Gulf Coast continue to consume more than twice the amount of antibiotics per capita than those in the  Northwest and New England. More worryingly, this imbalance in rates of decrease appears to be accelerating.

High per capita antibiotic use rates in certain regions could be due to a variety of cultural, socio-economic and epidemiological causes. Additional research must be done to better understand the driving factors behind antibiotic overuse and tailor information campaigns accordingly. Interventions are urgently needed on a local level to promote rational prescribing on part of physicians and to educate consumers about the need to conserve antibiotics.

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