Antibiotic use during first two years of life ups risk of allergies at age five
The risks of asthma, atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis at 5 years of age are all significantly higher in children who were given antibiotics during the first 2 years of life, a new study from Japan has shown.
Researchers performed a retrospective analysis of data in the Tokyo Children’s Health, Illness and Development Study. Recruitment of 1,701 pregnant women led to the inclusion of 1,550 newborns to 1,504 mothers after exclusion of miscarriages, stillbirths and terminations of pregnancy.
Accomplished questionnaires when the child was 2 and 5 years of age were collected from 1,323 and 1,196 respondents, respectively. Outcomes were allergy symptoms in children at 5 years old such as asthma, rhinitis, wheezing and eczema.
Reponses showed that 48.3 percent of children enrolled in the study were exposed to antibiotics during the first two years of life. The most common antibiotic was cephem, which was used in 21.5 percent. This was followed by macrolide (19.2 percent).
The incidences of bronchitis at two years (p<0.001) and of asthma (p=0.009), atopic dermatitis (p=0.032) and allergic rhinitis (p=0.006) were significantly higher in children who received antibiotics during the first two years of life compared with their nonantibiotic counterparts.
Logistic regression analysis showed that antibiotic use in the first two years of life was significantly associated with elevated risks of asthma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.72; 95 percent CI, 1.10 to 2.70; p=0.017), atopic dermatitis (aOR, 1.40; 1.01 to 1.94; p=0.044) and rhinitis (aOR, 1.65; 1.05 to 2.58; p=0.03) at 5 years of age.