Allergic disease risk in children may increase with antibiotic exposure

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The association between antibiotic exposure and allergic diseases was particularly strong in boys and children younger than 10 years of age.
The association between antibiotic exposure and allergic diseases was particularly strong in boys and children younger than 10 years of age.
This article is part of The Clinical Advisor's conference coverage from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Orlando, Florida. Our staff will report on medical research related to asthma and other respiratory conditions, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from AAAAI/WAO 2018.

Children may have an increased risk for allergic diseases when exposed to antibiotics earlier in life, according to research presented at the 2018 Joint Congress of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and World Allergy Organization (AAAAI/WAO), held March 2-5, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.

Researchers from South Korea conducted a study using information from the National Health Insurance Service insurance claims database from 2006 to 2015. A total of 5,626,328 children and adolescents were eligible for inclusion. The researchers analyzed the exposure period of antibiotics 7 years before the development of allergic disease. The analysis was conducted using 3 models to adjust for confounding factors, including age, sex, healthcare visit days, income, and region of residence (urban or rural).

Results demonstrated that as the exposure duration of antibiotics increased, so too did the incidence of allergic diseases, including atopic dermatitis, asthma, and allergic rhinitis, even after adjustment for confounding factors (P for trend <.0001). Overall, the prevalence of allergic diseases was higher in boys and children younger than 10 years. In addition, children who lived in urban areas and were of higher income levels were prone to allergic diseases (P <.0001).

The risk for allergic diseases associated with antibiotics also appears to be duration-dependent, according to the researchers.

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Reference

Kim SW. The effect of antibiotics in children and adolescent development asthma and allergic diseases. Presented at the 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology/World Allergy Organization Joint Congress; March 2-5, 2018; Orlando, FL. Abstract 22.

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