Background: Community prescribing of antibiotics has decreased substantially in the UK in recent years. We examine the association between pneumonia mortality and recent changes in community-based antibiotic prescribing for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI).
Methods: Retrospective analysis of aggregated data for pneumonia mortality, influenza incidence, and antibiotic prescribing for LRTI in England and Wales during 12-week winter periods between 1993/94 and 1999/2000.
Results: Winter antibiotic prescribing for LRTI showed a 30.0% decline since 1995/96. Over the same period, there was a 50.6% increase in winter excess pneumonia mortality adjusted for influenza incidence. Negative binomial regression analysis showed that the incidence of influenza alone had a significant association with winter pneumonia mortality (P<0.001). The analysis also showed the reduction in antibiotic prescribing had a small but significant association with mortality (P<0.001), when simultaneously modelling for influenza incidence.
- antibiotic prescribing
- lower respiratory tract infection
- community-acquired pneumonia mortality
- retrospective analysis
- England and Wales
- influenza epidemics