71% of Americans aware of antibiotic resistance, yet confusion remains: 4 stats from a new data report

Seventy-one percent of the public says they have heard of and know the meaning of antibiotic resistance, according to a data note from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

 The data come from the June 2019 KFF Health Tracking Poll, which includes a nationally representative, random digit dial telephone sample of 1,206 adults 18 and older. Computer-assisted landline and cell phone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish from May 30, 2019, to June 4, 2019.

Four more stats from the data note:

1. Fifty-three percent of the public says antibiotic overuse is a "major problem." Sixty-three percent are aware antibiotics lead to more durable and dangerous bacterial infections.

2. Just 39 percent know there is no relation between antibiotic resistance and viral outbreaks, such as measles and influenza. But 55 percent say either viral infections can be cured by antibiotics or they don't know enough to say.

3. Fifty-nine percent say they are worried about antibiotic resistance personally affecting them, although the opioid epidemic ranks among people's top worries.

4. Forty-five percent say they have not taken antibiotics as prescribed by a doctor, taking the antibiotics differently than their doctor prescribed, which is one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistance. Yet 59 percent say pharmaceutical companies are "very responsible" for antibiotic resistance, while 56 percent blame doctors or healthcare providers.

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