A new study found that children younger than two, who are given antibiotics, are more likely to have a number of ongoing illnesses or conditions later in life.
According to CNN, a study by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, published in early November, claims babies and toddlers who received one dose of antibiotics were more likely to have asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergies, celiac disease, problems with weight and obesity, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder later in their childhood, according to the study published.
Multiple antibiotic treatments in children under the age of two were also associated with a child having multiple conditions, the study found. Illnesses differed due to the child’s gender, age, type of medication, dose, and the number of doses.
“We want to emphasize that this study shows association, not causation, of these conditions,” said senior study author Nathan LeBrasseur, a researcher at Mayo Clinic’s Center on Aging. “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,” he said.
Researchers analyzed data from over 14,500 children who are part of the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a long-term study that analyzes the medical records of volunteers in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
That study found that of the children who received one or two prescriptions, only the girls were at significantly higher risk to develop asthma and celiac disease compared to those unexposed. “By contrast, receiving three to four prescriptions was associated with a higher incidence of asthma, atopic dermatitis, and overweight in both sexes, ADHD and celiac disease in girls, and obesity in boys,” LeBrasseur and his team wrote.
The study uncovered that penicillin, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in the world, was associated with “increased risk for asthma and overweight in both sexes, celiac disease and ADHD in girls, and obesity in boys, whereas they were associated with reduced risk for autism in girls.”
The study also found another commonly prescribed antibiotic, cephalosporin, was linked to a higher risk for the greatest number of conditions and, “uniquely, autism and food allergies,” the study said.