Patterns of Inpatient Antibiotic Use Among Public Hospitals in Hong Kong from 2000 to 2015.


We acquired data on all hospital admissions with any antibiotics dispensed from 2000 to 2015 from the Hong Kong public hospitals. The annual proportion of hospital admissions with antibiotics dispensed was estimated and stratified by age group. An interrupted time series analysis was conducted to examine any potential change in tetracycline dispensing after the release of the new clinical practice guideline.

A total of 35,535,506 antibiotic prescriptions were dispensed among 2,161,360 unique hospitalized patients from 2000 to 2015. Antibiotics were dispensed in 29.2% of all hospital admissions in the public hospitals, the annual proportions of hospital admissions with antibiotics dispensed increased over the study period from 27.87% in 2000 to 31.39% in 2015, ranging from 27.17 to 31.39%. However, a significant increase was only observed in age groups of 5-19, 20-44, and 85 years or above when stratifying by age. In the interrupted time series analysis, a change in trend was detected for tetracycline dispensing that coincided with the time of publication of the new clinical practice guideline.

We found that the overall volume of antibiotic use increased between 2000 and 2015. The rise in the dispensing of carbapenems in our study is concerning. The significant change in tetracycline use after being recommended as one of the preferred regimens demonstrated that the change in the clinical practice guideline had an immediate effect on the antibiotic prescribing practice in Hong Kong public hospitals.

Studies have demonstrated that higher rates of antibiotic resistance are found in countries with higher antibiotic consumption. The global increase in antibiotic consumption is a major public health concern.

The objective of this study was to describe the antibiotic dispensing patterns in public hospitals in Hong Kong from 2000 to 2015.

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