By Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Some patients are more likely than others to get antibiotics they don't need, new research shows.
White adults and children, along with those who had private insurance and lived in urban areas, were more likely to receive a prescription for an antibiotic for common conditions caused by viruses, the researchers said.
Antibiotics only work against bacterial infections, not viruses.
"Understanding the factors that impact prescribing is critical to determining how to reduce the misuse of antibiotics," said researcher Melanie Spencer. She's executive director of Carolinas HealthCare System's Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, based in Charlotte, N.C.
"Our findings demonstrate that variation in prescribing patterns exists and is associated with several patient, practice and provider characteristics," she said.
In the study, the researchers reviewed data from more than 281,000 adults and children in North Carolina who were seen for four common conditions that do not routinely require antibiotics: viral upper ...