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  • Jefferson Adams

    Study Connects Antibiotics in First Year of Life with Celiac Disease

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      A team of researchers recently set out to explore the association between exposure to a systemic antibiotic in the first year of life and risk of diagnosed celiac disease.


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    Caption: Image: CC--oliver.dodd

    Celiac.com 03/11/2019 - Many researchers believe that intestinal microbiota play a key role in the development of celiac disease. Since gut microbiota are strongly influenced by systemic antibiotics, especially in early life, the role of antibiotics in the development of celiac disease comes into question. Do antibiotics in infancy influence celiac disease rates later on?

    The team’s observational nationwide register-based cohort study included all children born in Denmark from 1995 through 2012, and Norway from 2004 through 2012. They followed the children born in Denmark until May 8, 2015 and the children born in Norway until December 31, 2013. 



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    In all, they gathered medical data on more than 1.7 million children, including 3,346 with a diagnosis of celiac disease. Any patient who received a dispensed systemic antibiotic in the first year of life was defined as having been exposed to systemic antibiotics.

    In both the Danish and in the Norwegian groups, infants exposed to systemic antibiotics in the first year of life had higher rates of celiac disease than those with no exposure.

    The team found that the relationship between an increasing number of dispensed antibiotics and the risk of celiac disease was dose-dependent. That is, more antibiotics correlated to higher celiac rates of celiac disease, and vice versa.

    The data did not single out any one antibiotic, or narrow the age window within the first year of life. Rates were similar for infants who had been hospitalized versus those who had not.

    This study was both large and comprehensive. The findings provide more evidence that childhood exposure to systemic antibiotics in the first year of life may be a risk factor for later celiac disease.

    Read more at Gastroenterology

     

    The research team included Stine Dydensborg Sander, MD, PhD, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, MD, PhD, Joseph A. Murray, MD, Øystein Karlstad, MSci, PhD, Steffen Husby, MD, DMSci, and Ketil Størdal, MD, PhD. They are variously affiliated with the Hans Christian Andersen Children’s Hospital, Odense University Hospital, Denmark, the Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark, the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, USA, the Department of Non-Communicable Diseases, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway, and the Department of Pediatrics, Ostfold Hospital Trust, Norway.

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    Guest Evidence Based Science FTW

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    Or it could mean that infants who are predisposed to celiac disease are also predisposed to other ailments for which antibiotics are prescribed.

    Correlation does not equal causation!

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    For me it was 3 weeks of daily penicillin shots at 21 months of age.  Then off and on through life until 18 months of daily tetracycline plus mega shots of penicillin following an accident. Shortly after that I developed not only celiac, but was diagnosed with multiple food and chemical allergies/sensitivities.  I know now that I was undiagnosed through childhood because of the symptoms I remember having: cramps, alternating constipation/diarrhea, mouth sores, mood swings, fussy eating, unexplainable low grade fevers associated with fatigue, and later in my early 20's - unexplainable, transient, periodic pain during intercourse.  I hope they find a way to treat the underlying problems, i.e. gut biota? instead of throwing enzymes and pharmaceuticals at the symptoms. 

     

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    On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 5:58 PM, Guest Evidence Based Science FTW said:

    Or it could mean that infants who are predisposed to celiac disease are also predisposed to other ailments for which antibiotics are prescribed.

    Correlation does not equal causation!

    This was an excellent well worded reply. I was thinking the same thing but didn't know how to properly articulate my thoughts. My children both started on antibiotics at 6 weeks of age and both continued being heavily dosed with antibiotics through out age 2 due to constant double ear infections. One child has celiac and the other thankfully does not. 

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    Guest gluten-free grandma

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    I have 5 kids, 4 have celiac or DH. The one that is most sensitive had more antibiotics early on for ear infections. I also did not nurse her as long which seemed to protect the others from early ear infections. I am sure the antibiotics don't help the gut in any way to develop correctly.  I have no idea if I had antibiotics before 2 yrs, but probably had penicillin with a surgery at 2 years. We need more studies.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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