Well­ness Arti­cles

Antibi­otic Usage in Babies Linked to Asthma

The open­ing remarks of an arti­cle from the Octo­ber 1, 2003 BBC News states, “Babies given antibi­otics are more likely to develop asthma and other aller­gies, research sug­gests.” The arti­cle reports on research done at the Henry Ford Hos­pi­tal in Detroit. Senior researcher and epi­demi­ol­o­gist, Dr. Chris­tine Cole John­son, stud­ied 448 chil­dren, whose devel­op­ment was tracked for the first seven years of their lives. The chil­dren were stud­ied to see if there was any rela­tion­ship between the early usage of antibi­otics and the onset of Asthma or Allergies.

Assess­ing the chil­dren repeat­edly, the research team noticed sev­eral inter­est­ing find­ings. By the age of seven, chil­dren who were given at least one antibi­otic in the first six months of their lives were found to be:

  • 1.5 times more likely to develop aller­gies by age seven than those who did not receive antibi­otics and 2.5 times more likely to develop asthma.
  • 1.7 times more likely to develop aller­gies, and three times more likely to develop asthma, if they lived in those early years with fewer than two pets.
  • nearly twice as likely to develop aller­gies if their mother had a his­tory of allergies.
  • oddly enough, but chil­dren were nearly twice as likely to develop aller­gies if they were also breast-​fed for more than four months, when com­bined with tak­ing antibiotics.

Inter­est­ingly, babies who were breast­fed for more than four months, and who received antibi­otics in their first six months were three times more likely to develop aller­gies, although they were no more likely to develop asthma. Also, inter­est­ing was the result that expo­sure to pets seemed to have a pro­tec­tive effect. Those given antibi­otics who lived in a fam­ily with fewer than two pets had 1.7 times the risk of aller­gies and three times the risk of asthma. How­ever, when a fam­ily had two or more pets, the risk of aller­gies or asthma for the child was back to nor­mal levels.

The biggest risk of all — an 11-​fold increase — was found among chil­dren who were pre­scribed a broad-​spectrum antibi­otic, such as peni­cillin, were breast­fed for four months, and did not have any fam­ily pets. The researchers also found evi­dence that the more courses of antibi­otics a child received dur­ing their first six months, the higher was their risk of devel­op­ing an allergy.

I believe we need to be more pru­dent in pre­scrib­ing them for chil­dren at such a young age,” said Dr. Chris­tine Cole John­son. “In the past, many of them were pre­scribed unnec­es­sar­ily, espe­cially for viral infec­tions like colds and flus when they would have no effect anyway.”

Ran­dom Article

This leg­isla­tive ini­tia­tive was the prod­uct of many years of dis­cus­sion, nego­ti­a­tions and edu­ca­tion and came only after numer­ous attempts by the chiropractic

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