Sign up for Englemed updates from TwitterSign up for Englemed updates from Facebook
Contact Englemed
Our contact email address.
We can provide a specialist, tailored health and medical news service for your site.
Click here for more information
RSS graphic XML Graphic Add to Google
About Englemed news services - services and policies.
Englemed News Blog - Ten years and counting.
Diary of a reluctant allergy sufferer - How the British National Health Service deals with allergy.
BookshopFor books on women's health, healthy eating ideas, mental health issues, diabetes, etc click here

WWW Englemed
Copyright Notice. All reports, text and layout copyright Englemed Ltd, 52 Perry Avenue, Birmingham UK B42 2NE. Co Registered in England No 7053778 Some photos copyright Englemed Ltd, others may be used with permission of copyright owners.
Disclaimer: Englemed is a news service and does not provide health advice. Advice should be taken from a medical professional or appropriate health professional about any course of treatment or therapy.
How heart failure risk rises after surgery
Wed June 29th - The development of atrial fibrillation following surgery is an important risk factor for heart failure, researchers report today. More
Brain surgery benefits intracranial pressure
Wed June 29th - Craniectomy for intracranial hypertension offers significant benefit, according to new guidance, triggered by British research. More
On 09/10/2020 William Haworth wrote:
How long is recovery time after proceedure... on Ablation cuts atrial fibrillat...
On 08/02/2018 David Kelly wrote:
Would you like to write a piece about this to be i... on Researchers unveil new pain re...
On 23/10/2017 Cristina Pereira wrote: on HIV breakthrough - MRC...
On 12/09/2017 Aparna srikantam wrote:
Brilliant finding! indeed a break through in under... on Leprosy research breakthrough...
On 01/07/2017 Annetta wrote:
I have been diagnosed with COPD for over 12 years.... on Seaweed plan for antimicrobial...
For books, child safety and gift ideas click here

Obesity link to early antibiotics

Wednesday October 31st, 2018

Children who are given antibiotics and antacids in early life may face an increased risk of becoming obese, researchers warn today.

The US authors of the observational study say that these medicines may alter the microbiome in the gut.

British doctors gave the findings a cautious welcome, calling for further investigations.

The team led by Dr Christopher Stark of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Texas, USA, looked at the potential link because some drugs, including antibiotics, acid suppressants-histamine 2 receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors can alter the balance of gut of bacteria.

In the BMJ journal Gut today (31 October) the team outline their study of medicines prescribed to 333,353 infants up to the age of two years. This information was recorded in the US Military Health System database.

Just under three-quarters of the children had been prescribed an antibiotic, about 12 per cent were given an acid suppressants-histamine 2 receptor antagonist, and three per cent a proton pump inhibitor.

The overall obesity rate by three years of age was 14 per cent, and this group was more likely to be male, born by caesarean, and have parents below officer rank.

Being given one of the three types of prescription was linked with a raised risk of obesity. The rate was highest for antibiotics, at 26 per cent higher than for children who did not take them, regardless of the type of antibiotic prescribed.

However, the researchers point out that the many influential factors were not measured, and they highlight "the current difficulty of drawing clear conclusions about the interplay between exposure history, gut microbiota and propensity to develop obesity."

Nevertheless, they believe: "There is an important therapeutic role for microbiota-altering medications. The long term risks to health must be weighed against the short-term benefits."

Dr Max Davie, of the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “Although this is reported as the largest study of its kind, it has got its limitations - it is observational and so you can’t establish cause, information about the mother’s weight, whether they smoked or had other underlying conditions aren’t available and there are complex links between the environment and obesity that need to be taken into account.

“That said, childhood obesity levels in the UK are at crisis point with one in three children overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. We are also battling antibiotic resistance so any avoidable doses throughout the life-course would be beneficial to the cause.”

Royal College of GPs chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard added: “This new study, linking antibiotic and antacid use with obesity, is extremely interesting, but does not prove causation. As such, it is very important that more research is conducted in this area, and that as further high-quality evidence emerges, it is taken into account as new clinical guidelines are updated and developed.

“People whose children have already been prescribed these medications should certainly not stop them on the basis of this research.”

Stark, C. M. et al. Antibiotic and acid-suppression medications during early childhood are associated with obesity. Gut 31 October 2018

Tags: Child Health | Diet & Food | Gastroenterology | North America | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

Printer friendly page Printer friendly page

Comment on this article:

<a>,<b> & <p> tags allowed
Please enter the letters displayed:
(not case sensitive)