Study: Antibiotic Use in Early Life and Childhood Asthma Risk

In the June 2007 issue of CHEST (the journal of The American College of Chest Physicians), researchers assessed the relationship between antibiotic use early in life and the development of asthma. Using health-care and prescription databases this longitudinal, cohort study looked at the association between antibiotic prescription use during the first year of life and asthma at age 7 among over 13,000 children. By the time children were 7 years of age, asthma was significantly more likely to develop in children who had received antibiotics in their first year of life. The risk of asthma was highest in children receiving more than four courses of antibiotics, especially among rural children, and in the absence of maternal asthma or a dog in the birth year. The authors concluded that antibiotic use in early life was associated with the development of childhood asthma, a risk that may be reduced by avoiding the use of broad spectrum antibiotics. To view an abstract of this study visit //www.chestjournal.org/cgi/content/abstract/131/6/1753.

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