West Virginia has been ranked among the top five states in the nation for antibiotic overuse, according to a study released Tuesday by the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy.
Researchers found that antibiotic use in the Mountain State at a troubling rate.
West Virginia and Kentucky had the highest rates of antibiotic use in the nation. According to the study, that residents living in West Virginia take nearly twice as many antibiotics as people living in states with the least antibiotic use.
Researchers found significant national and regional trends in overuse of antibiotics between 1999 and 2010. The five states with the highest use in the nation were Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The five states with the least use were Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington.
The study also found that the overuse of antibiotics is making it harder to treat common infections. More than half of U.S. Women will get a Urinary Tract Infection in their lifetime, according to the CDC, and available drugs used to treat the infection are actually losing their effectiveness.
The Centers for Disease Control have named this week "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week".
The research was done as part of ResistanceMap, an online tool for tracking changes in drug resistance created by Extending the Cure, a project of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy.