Many studies evaluating the efficacy of antimicrobial agents in the prevention of complications of respiratory diseases have been made and tend to show the lack of protection afforded by these agents1 except in specific illnesses or in the presence of chronic pulmonary weakness2; i.e., cystic fibrosis of the pancreas and bronchiectasis. Such studies have not been carried out in private practice, where a large percentage of medicine is practiced and through which a majority of the antimicrobial agents are prescribed. Studies on this problem based upon hospital admissions have produced contradictory results.3-5
This study was carried out in a private practice to evaluate the role of antimicrobial therapy in the prevention of complications of respiratory illness.
The 845 cases in this study were drawn from my private practice comprising representative segments of all socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups of Rochester, N.Y., and its suburbs. During this