Determinants of between-country differences in ambulatory antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance in Europe : a longitudinal observational study
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
The journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy. - London, 1975, currens
, p. 535-547
University of Antwerp
Objectives: To identify key determinants explaining countryyear variations in antibiotic use and resistance. Methods: Ambulatory antibiotic use data [in defined daily doses per 1000 inhabitants per day (DIDs)] for 19 European countries from 1999 to 2007 were collected, along with 181 variables describing countries in terms of their agriculture, culture, demography, disease burden, education, healthcare organization and socioeconomics. After assessing data availability, overlap and relevance, multiple imputation generalized estimating equations were applied with a stepwise selection procedure to select significant determinants of global antibiotic use (expressed in DIDs), relative use of subgroups (amoxicillin and co-amoxiclav) and resistance of Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Results: Relative humidity, healthcare expenditure proportional to grossdomestic product, feelings of distrust, proportion of population aged .65 years and availability of treatment guidelines were associated with higher total antibiotic use expressed in DIDs. Restrictions on marketing activities towards prescribers, population density, number of antibiotics, educational attainment and degree of atheism were associated with a lower number of total DIDs used. Relative prescribing of amoxicillin and co-amoxiclav was mainly determined by healthcare system choices [e.g. general practitioner (GP) registration and restricted marketing]. Specific antibiotic use was found to be a significant determinant of resistance for some but not all drug/organism combinations. Incentives to stimulate GP gatekeeping were associated with lower levels of resistance, and life expectancy at age 65+ and atheism were associated with more resistance. Conclusions: Myriad factors influence antibiotic use and resistance at the country level and an important part of these can be modified by policy choices.