Taking Antibiotics Regularly Disrupts Gut Health, Increases Risk Of Developing IBD By Study Finds via Natural Blaze
People over 40 who regularly take antibiotics are more likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease, a new study warns.
Researchers from NYU Langone Health say the risk seems to be cumulative and reaches its greatest point one to two years after taking a course of medication, as well as after taking antibiotics which target gut infections. There is also growing evidence that environmental factors play a role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Roughly seven million people worldwide have the condition and study authors predict that number will rise over the next decade. One factor tied to the risk of IBD among younger patients — a condition which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — is the use of antibiotics. However, study authors admit it’s been unclear if the same factors applied to older people.
The research team drew on national medical data for Danish citizens over 10-years-old who did not have IBD from 2000 to 2018. They specifically wanted to know if the timing and dose of antibiotics plays a factor in the development of IBD.
This study included more than 6.1 million people, with just over half being female. In total, 5.5 million (91%) received a prescription for at least one antibiotic between 2000 and 2018. During the study period, doctors diagnosed more than 36,000 new cases of ulcerative colitis and over 16,800 new cases of Crohn’s disease.
Compared with no antibiotic use, the study finds that using these drugs displayed a clear connection to a higher risk of developing IBD, regardless of age. However, older patients had the highest risk.
Taking more prescriptions increases IBD risk even more
Those between 10 and 40 years-old were 28 percent more likely to develop IBD. Meanwhile, 40 to 60-year-olds were 48 percent more likely to have the condition, while those over 60 were 47 percent more likely to have IBD.
The risks were slightly higher for Crohn’s disease than they were for ulcerative colitis — 40 percent among 10 to 40-year-olds, 62 percent among 40 to 60-year-olds, and 51 percent among seniors over 60. Researchers say the risk seemed to build up, with each subsequent course of medication adding an additional 11-percent, 15-percent, and 14-percent higher risk, according to each age range.
The findings also show that the highest risk was found among those prescribed five or more courses of antibiotics. These patients had a 69-percent heightened risk among 10 to 40-year-olds. The risk doubled among 40 to 60-year-olds and was 95 percent higher among those over 60.