Increased antibiotic exposure linked to type 2 diabetes

Antibiotic exposure could increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, say researchers. In the image, a pharmacist takes medicine from a shelf

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
[1]
. But ‘the findings may also represent an increased demand for antibiotics from increased risk of infections in patients with yet-undiagnosed diabetes’.

References

[1] Mikkelson K, Knop FK, Frost M et al. Use of Antibiotics and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-Based Case-Control Study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2015-2696

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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 5 September 2015, Vol 295, No 7878;295(7878):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20069257