Dr Foster's Case Notes

Prescribing of antibiotics and admissions for respiratory tract infections in England

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7471.879 (Published 14 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:879
  1. Azeem Majeed,
  2. Susan Williams,
  3. Brian Jarman,
  4. Paul Aylin
  1. Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College

    The increase in antibiotic resistance is one of the most worrying trends facing 21st century medicine. Much antibiotic prescribing is of little therapeutic value, and lower prescribing rates may lead to lower rates of resistance.w1 Consequently, doctors are being encouraged to use antibiotics less frequently. However, lower levels of antibiotic prescribing may lead to an increase in complications from infectious diseases.w2 We analysed NHS primary care prescribing data in England to examine the number of antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 population (STAR-PU weighted) between 1996 and 2002, as well as the standardised hospital admission rate for respiratory tract infections during the same period.

    The bottom line

    • A sustained decrease in community antibiotic prescribing rates in recent years has been associated …

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