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Public Health Rep. 2011 May-Jun;126(3):354-60.

Trends in hospitalizations with antibiotic-resistant infections: U.S., 1997-2006.

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  • 1Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Family Medicine, 295 Calhoun St., Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



Antibiotic resistance is a significant global problem, but the trends in prevalence and impact of antibiotic resistance in hospitalizations in the United States are unclear. We evaluated the trends in hospitalizations associated with antibiotic-resistant infections in U.S. hospitals from 1997 to 2006.


We analyzed the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) during 1997-2006 (unweighted n = 3.3 million hospitalizations; weighted n = 370.3 million hospitalizations) and examined trends in prevalence of hospitalizations with antibiotic-resistant infections, length of stay, and discharge status.


The number of infection-related hospitalizations with antibiotic resistance increased 359% during the 10-year period, from 37,005 in 1997 to 169,985 in 2006. The steepest rise was seen among individuals < 18 years of age. The mean age of individuals with infection-related hospitalizations that had antibiotic-resistant infections decreased substantially, from 65.7 years (standard error [SE] = 2.01) in 1997 to 44.2 years (SE = 1.47) in 2006. As the proportion of patients with antibiotic-resistant infections who did not have insurance increased, the length of stay for those hospitalizations had a corresponding decrease (r = 0.91, p < 0.01).


Antibiotic-resistant infections are becoming increasingly commonplace in hospitalizations in the U.S., with a steady upward trend between 1997 and 2006. Antibiotic-resistant infections are increasingly being seen in younger patients and those without health insurance.

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