Antibiotics and Arthritis

May 22, 2018 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff Article Tags: ,

The Question: Does antibiotic use in children increase their risk of developing juvenile idiopathic arthritis?

The Study: The records of 550 British general practices were reviewed for new diagnoses of juvenile arthritis, and 152 cases in children one to fifteen years old were found. The antibiotic use for these children was determined, and each child was matched with 10 healthy control patients.

The Results: The incidence of juvenile arthritis was found to increase with the use of antibiotics, and the risks increased with the number of antibiotic courses a child received.

Comment: The authors speculate that the reason for the apparent relationship may be the disruption of the children’s normal microbiome-the normal bacteria in and on their bodies. This is a preliminary study and needs to be confirmed. However, it reinforces the concept of using antibiotics carefully and only when the suspicion of a bacterial infection is high.

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