Study Examines Effects of Antibiotic Use in Children on Asthma Incidence

The March 2020 edition of The Lancet includes an article examining the connections between antibiotic use in infancy and risk of asthma. Researchers used administrative data “on annual rates of antibiotic prescriptions and asthma diagnoses to assess the association between antibiotic prescribing” at less than one year of age and asthma prevalence at ages one through four. Their findings “suggest that the reduction in the incidence” of asthma “observed in recent years might be an unexpected benefit of prudent antibiotic use during infancy.” They also found that “gut microbiota at age 1 year” was a “significant mediator between outpatient antibiotic exposure in the first year of life and asthma diagnosis at age 5 years.”

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