Well­ness Arti­cles

Antibi­otics in the First Year of Life Increase Risk of Asthma

From a March 13, 2006, Reuters Health release comes a report that chil­dren who are given antibi­otics early in life increase their chance of asthma later. This find­ing is from a study by Dr. Carlo A. Marra and col­leagues at the Uni­ver­sity of British Colum­bia in Van­cou­ver pub­lished in the med­ical jour­nal Chest. The study also sug­gests that the more antibi­otics were used on a child, the higher the risk of asthma.

Dr. Marra’s group reviewed and com­bined data from seven stud­ies ana­lyz­ing the pos­si­ble rela­tion­ship between chil­dren who received antibi­otics in the first year of life and those who did not. These stud­ies included 12,082 chil­dren of whom 1817 had devel­oped asthma. The data showed that the chil­dren who had received antibi­otics in the first year of life were twice as likely to develop asthma as those who did not receive antibiotics.

In an inter­view with WebMD, Dr. Marra stated, “Antibi­otic expo­sure dur­ing the first year of life does appear to be a risk fac­tor for the devel­op­ment of child­hood asthma, but because of lim­i­ta­tions in the stud­ies we reviewed we have to con­clude that big­ger and bet­ter stud­ies are still needed.”

Dr. Clif­ford Bas­sett, an allergy expert and pro­fes­sor of med­i­cine at the State Uni­ver­sity of New York seemed to agree with these find­ings as he stated, “With the immune sys­tem, we’re find­ing we may need to expose our­selves to bac­te­ria and other endo­tox­ins to boost or have our immune sys­tems develop normally.”

Dr. Marra con­cluded, “This is the best evi­dence we have right now, and the best evi­dence that we have looks like there is poten­tially an asso­ci­a­tion. Peo­ple should not be pre­scrib­ing antibi­otics unless they’re really necessary.”

Ran­dom Article

A study pub­lished in the August 16, 2007 issue of the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine, (NEJM) notes that in spite of increas­ing criticisms

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