Early-Life Antibiotic Use and Celiac Disease: Is There an Association?

Over 15,000 children were included in the study cohort
Over 15,000 children were included in the study cohort

HealthDay News — Use of antibiotics in early life is not associated with islet or celiac disease (CD) autoimmunity in children at risk for type 1 diabetes (T1D) or CD, according to a study published online October 9 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Kaisa M. Kemppainen, PhD, from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues examined the correlation between early-life antibiotic use and islet or CD autoimmunity in genetically at-risk children prospectively followed up for T1D or CD. Data were included for human leukocyte antigen-genotyped newborns enrolled in a prospective birth cohort: 8,495 children and 6,558 children who were tested for islet and tissue transglutaminase autoantibodies, respectively. 

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The researchers found that exposure to and frequency of use of any antibiotic assessed in the study in early life or before seroconversion was not associated with the risk of developing islet or CD autoimmunity. There was no correlation for cumulative use of any antibiotic during the first 4 years of life with the appearance of any autoantibody (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% confidence interval, 0.95 to 1.01), multiple islet autoantibodies (hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.95 to 1.03), or transglutaminase autoantibody (hazard ratio, 1; 95% confidence interval, 0.98 to 1.02).

"These results suggest that a risk of islet or tissue transglutaminase autoimmunity need not influence the recommendations for clinical use of antibiotics in young children at risk for T1D or CD," the authors write.

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