Consequences of antibiotic overuse are substantial, especially among older adults, who are more susceptible to adverse reactions. Findings about variation in antibiotic prescribing can target policy efforts to focused areas; however, little is known about these patterns among older adults.
Methods Using Medicare Part D data from January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2009 (comprising 1.0-1.1 million patients per year), we examined geographic variation in antibiotic use among older adults in 306 Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care hospital referral regions, 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 4 national regions (South, West, Midwest, and Northeast). In addition, we examined the quarterly change in antibiotic use across the 4 regions. Differences in patient demographics, insurance status, and clinical characteristics were adjusted for across regions. Read more