U.S. hospitals have not cut overall antibiotic use and have significantly increased the use of several broad-spectrum agents, according to a first-in-kind analysis of national hospital administrative data.
“We identified significant changes in specific antibiotic classes and regional variation that may have important implications for reducing antibiotic-resistant infections,” James Baggs, PhD, and colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, reported in the study, published online on September 19 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The retrospective study included approximately 300 acute care hospitals in the Truven Health MarketScan Hospital Drug Database, which covered 34 million pediatric and adult patient discharges equating to 166 million patient-daysIn all, 55% of patients received at least one antibiotic dose while in the hospital, and for every 1,000 patient-days, 755 days included antibiotic therapy, the investigators said. Overall antibiotic use rose during the study period by only 5.6 average days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days, which was not statistically significant.
However, the use of third and fourth-generation cephalosporins rose by a mean of 10.3 days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days (95% confidence interval, 3.1 to 17.5), and hospitals also used significantly more macrolides (mean rise, 4.8 days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days; 95% confidence interval, 2.0 to 7.6 days), glycopeptides, (22.4; 17.5 to 27.3); β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations (18.0; 13.3 to 22.6), carbapenems (7.4; 4.6 to 10.2), and tetracyclines (3.3; 2.0 to 4.7)
Inpatient antibiotic use also varied significantly by region, the investigators said. Hospitals in rural areas used about 16 more days of antibiotic therapy per 1,000 patient-days compared with those in urban areas. Hospitals in Mid-Atlantic states (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania) and Pacific Coast states (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington) used the least antibiotics (649 and 665 days per 1,000 patient-days, respectively), while Southwest Central states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) used the most (823 days).
The CDC provided funding for the study. The researchers had no disclosures.