Antibiotic Exposure Linked to Increased Odds of Child Obesity

Increased likelihood of early childhood obesity with repeated antibiotic exposures

doctor checking the weight of a girl

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic exposure is associated with increased odds of obesity among young children, according to a study published in the July issue of Gastroenterology.

Frank I. Scott, M.D., from the University of Colorado Denver in Aurora, and colleagues performed a retrospective cohort study involving 21,714 children in the Health Improvement Network. Eligible subjects were registered within three months of birth; height and weight were recorded within 12 months of their 4th birthday.

The researchers found that 6.4 percent of the children were obese at age 4 years. The risk of obesity at age 4 was increased with antibiotic exposure (odds ratio, 1.21; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.07 to 1.38). There was an increase in odds ratios with repeated exposures (odds ratios for one to two, three to five, and six or more prescriptions: 1.07 [95 percent CI, 0.91 to 1.23], 1.41 [95 percent CI, 1.20 to 1.65], and 1.47 [95 percent CI, 1.19 to 1.82]). There was no correlation for antifungal agents with obesity (odds ratio, 0.81; 95 percent CI, 0.59 to 1.11).

"Administration of three or more courses of antibiotics before children reach an age of 2 years is associated with an increased risk of early childhood obesity," the authors write.

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Physician’s Briefing Staff

Physician’s Briefing Staff

Published on July 13, 2016

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