Antibiotic use high in US hospitals in 2016, 2017

Patients received antibiotics in about two-thirds of hospitalizations in a two-year period beginning January 2016, a new study shows, leading researchers to conclude that U.S. inpatient antibiotic use "remains high."

The study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, examined antibiotic use among adult patients at 576 U.S. hospitals. They gathered data from hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database between Jan.1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017. The study included data on about 11 million hospital stays.

In 65 percent of hospital stays, patients received antibiotics. Broad-spectrum antibiotic agents were used most often.

The study also shows teaching hospitals averaged lower rates of total antibiotic use than nonteaching ones.

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