4.95 Million Deaths Linked to Antimicrobial Resistance in 2019

Lower respiratory infections accounted for >1.5 million deaths associated with resistance, making it the most burdensome syndrome

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FRIDAY, Jan. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A total of 4.95 million deaths associated with bacterial antimicrobial resistance (AMR) were estimated in 2019, including 1.27 million deaths attributable to bacterial AMR, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in The Lancet.

Christopher J.L. Murray, D.Phil., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues estimated deaths and disability-adjusted life years attributable to and associated with AMR for 23 pathogens and 88 pathogen-drug combinations in 204 countries and territories for 2019. Predictive statistical modeling was used to produce estimates for AMR burden for all locations.

The researchers found that in 2019, there were an estimated 4.95 million deaths associated with bacterial AMR, including 1.27 million deaths attributable to bacterial AMR. The all-age death rate attributable to resistance was estimated to be highest in western sub-Saharan Africa and lowest in Australasia (27.3 and 6.5 deaths, respectively, per 100,000). In 2019, lower respiratory infections were the most burdensome infectious syndrome, accounting for more than 1.5 million deaths associated with resistance. In 2019, the six leading pathogens for deaths associated with resistance explained 929,000 deaths attributable to AMR and 3.57 million deaths associated with AMR.

"Identifying strategies that can work to reduce the burden of bacterial AMR -- either across a wide range of settings or those that are specifically tailored to the resources available and leading pathogen-drug combinations in a particular setting -- is an urgent priority," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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