Black children less likely to be prescribed antibiotics

March 18, 2013
Black children less likely to be prescribed antibiotics
Black children are less likely to be prescribed antibiotics and to be diagnosed with conditions that require antibiotics, even when treated by the same doctor, according to research published online March 18 in Pediatrics.

(HealthDay)—Black children are less likely to be prescribed antibiotics and to be diagnosed with conditions that require antibiotics, even when treated by the same doctor, according to research published online March 18 in Pediatrics.

Jeffrey S. Gerber, M.D., Ph.D., from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed factors associated with antibiotic prescriptions and acute diagnoses in 1,296,517 encounters by 208,015 children with 222 in 25 practices in 2009.

The researchers found that, even after adjusting for factors including age and gender, black children were less likely to be prescribed antibiotics from the same clinician (odds ratio [OR], 0.75). They were also less likely to be diagnosed with conditions that required antibiotics, such as acute otitis media (OR, 0.79), (OR, 0.79), and group A streptococcal pharyngitis (OR, 0.60). Even when antibiotics were prescribed, black children were less likely to receive broad-spectrum antibiotics (OR, 0.88).

"When treated by the same clinician, black children received fewer antibiotic prescriptions, fewer acute respiratory tract infection diagnoses, and a lower proportion of broad-spectrum than nonblack children," Gerber and colleagues write.

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