Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early antibiotic use can lead to increased risk of childhood asthma, study suggests

Date:
January 27, 2011
Source:
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Summary:
When babies are given antibiotics, their risk of developing asthma by age 6 may increase by 50 percent.

When babies are given antibiotics, their risk of developing asthma by age 6 may increase by 50 percent. This relationship between antibiotic use in babies less than six months old and risk of developing asthma was documented in a study conducted by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) researcher Kari Risnes.

Related Articles


The research was conducted while Risnes was a visiting researcher at Yale University, and resulted in the recent online publication of the article in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

"Asthma is a very common disease. At the same time, about one-third of infants in our study were treated with antibiotics by the time they were six months old. This proportion is about 30 per cent in other Western countries," says Risnes.

The Yale study followed 1400 children and mothers from the beginning of pregnancy until the children were six years old.

"We found that the risk that children would have asthma as six year olds was 50 per cent higher when they had been given antibiotics as a baby. That is a significant increase," Risnes says.

While previous research has suggested an association between asthma and antibiotics, those studies may have been biased because antibiotics are used to treat respiratory tract infections that could themselves be early symptoms of asthma.

The study sought to eliminate this bias by excluding children who were treated for respiratory infections from the study. The study also considered a long list of other risk factors -- such as whether or not the mother, father or a sibling had asthma. That aspect also brought a surprise, Risnes said.

"We actually found that the relationship between antibiotic use in the first six months of life and asthma was particularly strong in children from families without a history of asthma," said Risnes.

"What we think is that antibiotics interfere with the beneficial bacteria found in the gut. These bacteria aid in helping the baby's immune system to mature. When the bacteria are affected, it can cause the child to have an "immature" immune system, which in turn leads to allergic reactions," says Risnes.

She believes that the results should remind doctors and policymakers of the consequences of overuse of antibiotics. While in Norway, for example, the policy is to limit the prescription of antibiotics "this is an additional reminder to doctors and parents that we should avoid unnecessary use whenever possible," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. R. Risnes, K. Belanger, W. Murk, M. B. Bracken. Antibiotic Exposure by 6 Months and Asthma and Allergy at 6 Years: Findings in a Cohort of 1,401 US Children. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2010; 173 (3): 310 DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwq400

Cite This Page:

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "Early antibiotic use can lead to increased risk of childhood asthma, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127090152.htm>.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). (2011, January 27). Early antibiotic use can lead to increased risk of childhood asthma, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127090152.htm
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "Early antibiotic use can lead to increased risk of childhood asthma, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127090152.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feeling Young Might Mean A Longer Life Span

Feeling Young Might Mean A Longer Life Span

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A study published in JAMA shows that people who feel younger than their chronological age might actually live longer than those who feel old. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins