According to the results of a recent study, the duration of antibiotic exposure in women during middle and older adulthood may significantly impact the risk of future cardiovascular (CVD) events.  

The study aimed to determine the association between both the duration of antibiotic exposure as well as the period of antibiotic use and subsequent CVD events. “This study included 36,429 women initially free of CVD and cancer from the Nurses’ Health Study,” the study’s authors explained. They added, “We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for CVD (a composite endpoint of coronary heart disease or stroke) according to duration of antibiotic use in young (age 20–39), middle (age 40–59), and late (age 60 and older) adulthood.” HRs were calculated and reported after adjusting for traditional CVD risk factors, such as demographics, diet, lifestyle, reason of antibiotic use, obesity, disease status, and use of other medications.

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Patients were followed for an average of 7.6 years. During this time, 1056 patients developed CVD. The study authors reported that women who utilized antibiotics long-term (≥2 months) during late adulthood had a significantly increased risk of CVD vs women in late adulthood who did not take antibiotics (HR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.70). For women in middle adulthood, long-term use of antibiotics was also associated with an increased risk of CVD (HR: 1.28; 95% CI: 0.95, 1.70; P=.003). No significant relationship was observed between antibiotic use in women in young adulthood and CVD risk.

Based on their findings, the authors concluded that “cumulative antibiotic use during different stages of adulthood may be linked to CVD incidence among elderly women.”

For more information visit academic.oup.com.