Multinational researchers have concluded that common antibiotics given to children under the age of four do not lead to an increase in the risk of type 1 diabetes or celiac, even if the children are susceptible to those conditions. The research was published in JAMA Pediatrics and looked at nearly 8,500 children from North America and Europe who were genetically at risk for type 1 diabetes and at another 6,500 children at risk for celiac.
The study asked parents to report when children took common antibiotics, including penicillin, amoxicillin, and cephalosporin, between the ages of 3 months and 4 years. More than 38,000 prescriptions for antibiotics were given to those children during that period, most often for middle-ear infections.
Exposure to antiobiotics was not a factor in development of type 1 diabetes or celiac, the researchers found.
About 5.5 percent of the children in the study developed type 1 and about 11.6 percent developed celiac. The amount of antibiotics given to those children who were at risk and ultimately developed these problems were not correlated.
“We have no evidence that pediatric use of antibiotics affects the risk of Type 1 diabetes or celiac disease in either direction. It doesn’t increase or decrease the risk,” said Kaisa M. Kemppainen, Ph.D., a co-author of the study and a postdoctoral associate in the department of microbiology and cell science at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
The research was conducted as part of The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY). The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health as a multicenter, multinational investigation.