Changes in the composition of human gut bacteria may influence the risk of developing certain metabolic diseases. So researchers in Denmark analysed national population data to investigate whether antibiotic use is associated with developing type 2 diabetes.
The antibiotic prescriptions collected by diabetic patients (n=170,504) prior to diagnosis were compared with case-matched controls without diabetes (n=1,364,008). Collecting five or more courses of antibiotics was found to be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared with one course or no courses of antibiotics (odds ratio 1.53, 95% confidence interval 1.50–1.55).
Antibiotic exposure could increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, write the researchers from the University of Copenhagen in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
. But ‘the findings may also represent an increased demand for antibiotics from increased risk of infections in patients with yet-undiagnosed diabetes’.