Antibiotics before age 2 associated with childhood health issues

Association of infant antibiotic exposure with childhood health outcomes.

When your child is sick, you want him to feel better as fast as possible. But antibiotics are not always the answer — and can sometimes do more harm than good. According to a new study by the Mayo Clinic scientists, antibiotics administered to children younger than two are associated with several ongoing illnesses or conditions, ranging from allergies to obesity.

For this new study, scientists used health record data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, population-based research collaboration in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Scientists examined data from over 14,500 children.

About 70% of the kids had received at least one treatment with antibiotics for illness before age 2. Children receiving numerous antibiotic treatments were bound to have various diseases or conditions later in childhood.

Types and frequency of illness varied depending on age, type of medication, dose, and several doses. There also were some differences between boys and girls. Conditions associated with early use of antibiotics included asthma, allergic rhinitis, weight issues and obesity, food allergies, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, celiac disease, and atopic dermatitis.

The creators estimate that even though antibiotics may briefly affect the microbiome, the body’s microbes’ collection may have -term health results.

Nathan LeBrasseur, Ph.D., a researcher at Mayo Clinic‘s Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging, Said, “We want to emphasize that this study shows association ? not causation? Of these conditions. These findings offer the opportunity to target future research to determine more reliable and safer approaches to timing, dosing, and types of antibiotics for children in this age group.”

While recent data show an increase in some of the childhood conditions involved in the study, experts are not sure why. Other than the issue of multidrug resistance, antibiotics have been presumed safe by most pediatricians.

Journal Reference:
  1. Zaira Aversa et al. Association of Infant Antibiotic Exposure With Childhood Health Outcomes. DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.07.019

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