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Study Finds Oregonians Shun Antibiotics

OPB | Nov. 16, 2012 3:36 p.m. | Updated: June 7, 2013 10:22 a.m. | Portland

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A study has found that the use of antibiotics in Oregon is the second lowest in the nation.

States with the lowest antibiotic use are Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii, California and Washington. The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and looked at data from 2010.

Residents in high-use states like West Virginia and Kentucky take about twice as many antibiotics per capita.

Jessina McGregor, an assistant professor in the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, says scientists don’t really know why Oregonians use fewer antibiotics, but they’re working on some theories.

“Some of it may have to do with Oregonians’ philosophy in general about medication utilization and natural remedies. Other parts of it may have to do with  our lower population density and less transmission between people.”

Since 1999, the percentage of antibiotics prescribed nationwide has dropped by 17 percent.  But so-called “super-bugs”, or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, increased by 30 percent over the same period of time.

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