Prenatal use of Antibiotics linked to atopic dermatitis in early childhood: JAMA
Researchers from a recent study have found out that exposure to antibiotics in early life was associated with an increased risk of atopic dermatitis, as published in the JAMA Open Network.
Atopic dermatitis is associated with substantial morbidity in childhood. Further understanding of the underlying factors contributing to its onset is needed.
Hence, Mwenya Mubanga and associates from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden conducted the present cohort study to assess the association of exposure to antibiotics in the prenatal period and early childhood with risk of atopic dermatitis in a nationwide population in Sweden.
This Swedish nationwide, prospective cohort study used data on mother-child pairs from the Swedish Medical Birth Register linked to other national registers for information on health, socioeconomic, and demographic data. Participants were followed up until an atopic dermatitis outcome, emigration, death, or the end of the study. Data for all singleton children and discordant siblings born were included and was analyzed.
Maternal exposure to systemic antibiotics during pregnancy as well as the child's exposure to systemic antibiotics during the first year of life was defined by a dispensed prescription.
Among the 722 767 singleton children, the mean (SD) age was 5.8 (2.4) years and 351 589 (48.6%) were female. During the follow-up period, 153 407 children (21.2%) were exposed to antibiotics in utero and 172 405 children (23.8%) were exposed during the first year of life.
The results revealed that-
- The risk of atopic dermatitis among children exposed to prenatal antibiotics was greater than that among children who were not exposed (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.10; 95% CI, 1.09-1.12).
- In the sibling-control analysis, no association was observed (aHR, 0.96; 95% CI; 0.92-1.00).
- Exposure to antibiotics during the first year of life was associated with a greater risk of atopic dermatitis (aHR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.50-1.55), with attenuated associations in the sibling-control analysis (aHR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.20-1.29).
Therefore, it was concluded that "exposure to antibiotics in early life was associated with an increased risk of atopic dermatitis in the general Swedish population, but this risk was partially confounded by familial factors. Research on the ways in which antibiotic use and other shared familial factors affect other atopic diseases may be warranted."