CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia ranks second among the states in residents' use of antibiotics and had the smallest decrease among the states over an 11-year span, according to a study released Tuesday.
Figures compiled by the nonprofit Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy show there were 1,178 prescriptions filled for every 1,000 West Virginia residents in 2010.
In 1999, West Virginia ranked fifth when the rate was 1,191 prescriptions.
The study found Kentucky led the nation with 1,197 antibiotic prescriptions per 1,000 residents. Other states with the highest antibiotic use were Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, while residents of Alaska and Hawaii had rates that were less than half those states.
Nationally antibiotic prescriptions fell 17 percent between 1999 and 2010, when there were 801 prescriptions filled for every 1,000 residents.
Louisiana was the only state that saw an increase in filled antibiotic prescriptions. West Virginia's 1 percent drop was the smallest. Nevada, Florida and New Hampshire saw the biggest percentage declines. Tennessee, which led the nation in 1999 at 1,324 antibiotic prescriptions per 1,000 residents, saw a 12 percent drop.