Antibiotic use may increase risk of inflammatory bowel disease

According to a review, the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease increased the more antibiotic prescriptions were prescribed to people 60 and older, suggesting that antibiotic use may explain some of the increase in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease cases. in the elderly. individuals.

The researchers believe that environmental factors are more important than genetics in older individuals. There is typically a dominant family history in younger individuals with a new diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, but that is not the case in older individuals.

The researchers reviewed the prescribing data of patients from 2.3 million individuals aged 60 years and older who had been recently diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. The study examined how many courses of antibiotics had been prescribed and how recent the prescriptions were relative to the diagnosis and specific classes of antibiotics used.

The study found that each antibiotic use was linked to higher levels of inflammatory bowel disease, with the risk increasing significantly with each course of antibiotics. Individuals were 27% more likely to be diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease after 1 prescription compared to individuals who had not taken antibiotics.

In 2 courses, the risk increased by 55% and in 3 courses by 67%. With 4 courses, the risk increased by 96%; and with 5 or more, individuals were 236% more likely to be diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease compared to individuals who had not taken antibiotics in the past 5 years.

New diagnoses of inflammatory bowel disease were highest when antibiotics were prescribed 1 to 2 years earlier, and the risk remained high for prescriptions in the period 2 to 5 years prior to diagnosis. The association was found for all types of antibiotics in addition to nitrofurantoin, which is typically prescribed for urinary tract infections.

Normally prescribed antibiotics for gastrointestinal infections were most likely to be linked to a new diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease. Antibiotics prescribed less than a year prior to diagnosis were omitted from the study to reduce the likelihood that the prescriptions were for gastrointestinal disease symptoms that had not yet been diagnosed.

What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease Infographic

Image source – uchicagomedicine

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