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Women have more antibiotics than men

Monday April 4th, 2016

Women are much more likely than men to be prescribed antibiotics, researchers say today.

Women in mid-life - aged between 35 and 54 - receive 40% more antibiotic prescriptions than men, according to the international study by German researchers.

British GPs said the findings could reflect women's greater use of medical services than men.

The findings are reported today in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and involved an analysis of 11 studies from nine countries, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.

It showed that overall women are prescribed antibiotics at a rate 27% greater than men.

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the UK Royal College of GPs, said: “The findings of this study are fascinating and can perhaps be explained by the fact that men, particularly aged between 16 and 34, are less likely to seek healthcare treatment than women.

“Whatever the reason, growing resistance to antibiotics is an increasing and global concern – and everybody has a responsibility to help curb this trend.

“Antibiotics can be excellent drugs when used appropriately but as a society we have become too dependent on them and they are seen as a ‘catch all’ for every illness and infection."

Researcher Professor Evelina Tacconelli, from Tubingen University Hospital, Germany, said: "Physicians should keep in mind the risk of gender inequality of antibiotic prescription.

"Our results could play an influential role in designing antibiotic stewardship programs that address reasons for gender inequality in prescription."

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 4 April 2016

Tags: Europe | Pharmaceuticals | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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