Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Antibiotic Overuse Leads To Asthma

Babies given antibiotics more likely to end up with asthma:

Among the findings controlled for asthma risk factors, the researchers reported:

  • Asthma was significantly more likely at age 7 in children who had received antibiotics in the first year of life for non-respiratory tract infections than in those who had not received antibiotics at all (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.02 to 3.37).
  • The likelihood of developing asthma increased in a dose-dependent manner and was significant for every number of antibiotic courses (OR 1.21 for one or two, 1.30 for three or four, and 1.46 for more than four).
  • The asthma risk for children who received more than four courses of antibiotics in the first year was even greater for those without a dog in the home at birth (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.20 to 3.38), no maternal history of asthma (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.04), or who lived in a rural area (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.88).
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics were significantly associated with the development of asthma by age 7 (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.93).
  • Narrow-spectrum antibiotics tended to increase asthma risk as well, but the association was not significant (OR 1.35, 95% CI 0.29 to 6.23).

The link between nonrespiratory infections and asthma may have been at least partially because of misdiagnosed atopic dermatitis, which is a major risk factor for the development of asthma, the researchers noted.
The vast majority of ear infections can be prevented a couple ways:
  1. Nurse your child.
  2. Remember that ear infections are overwhelmingly viral and antibiotics do more harm than good.
  3. Keep the child away from groups of snotty children (public spaces like play areas in restaurants, malls, church, YMCAs, etc.) until they are at least two.
  4. Use gentle alternatives to help your child.
  5. Let the virus run its course. The child is building his immune system. Antibiotics ultimately depress the immune function and should be used in only extraordinary cases.

No comments: