Antibiotics Use in the South - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Antibiotics Use in the South

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Health experts are concerned about a potentially risky problem in the South:  Antibiotic Overuse.

A new study reveals some adults living in the South tend to use more antibiotics than their counterparts living elsewhere in the United States.

Doctors say, antibiotics overuse is linked to the risk of drug resistance, and the proliferation of so-called super bugs, such as MRSA or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.

The new study found about 21% of people in the South used an antibiotic each quarter of the year.

Researchers analyzed Medicare Part D data from 2007 through 2009 which represents about three-million patients.

Doctors noted older people may be at greater risk for complications from infections,which suggests that doctors may treat them more aggressively with antibiotics.

However, the study indicated some of the areas with the highest uses of antibiotics actually had the lowest rates of pneumonia.

The study in the online Archives of Internal Medicine found antibiotic prescription rates peak from January through March and dip from July through September.