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Most U.S. Adults Are Concerned About Antibiotic Resistance

WEDNESDAY, July 3, 2019 -- Most U.S. adults have heard of and are concerned about antibiotic resistance, but 45 percent report having not taken antibiotics as prescribed, according to a report published online June 21 by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,206 adults living in the United States. The survey examined public experiences with and knowledge about antibiotic resistance.

According to the report, 71 percent of respondents had heard of antibiotic resistance and know what it means, and 53 percent think antibiotic overuse is a major problem. However, public knowledge of the issue is mixed: Three-quarters of respondents are aware that bacterial infections can usually be cured by antibiotics, but 27 incorrectly said that viral infections can be cured with antibiotics, and 28 percent did not know enough to answer. About one-third of the public reported being very worried about the impact of antibiotic resistance in the United States, and about one in four reported being very worried about the impact on them and their family. Most respondents were aware of the possible negative implications of antibiotic overuse, though 45 percent reported having personally not taken antibiotics as prescribed.

"When asked who bears responsibility for fixing the problem of antibiotic resistance, a larger share of the public place the responsibility on drug companies and health care providers than on any other entity, including patients," the authors write.

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Posted: July 2019

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