Early childhood antibiotics may increase risk of type 1 diabetes

22 May 2020

Children prescribed antibiotics in the first year of life may have an increased risk of type 1 diabetes in children by age 10, new research suggests.

Antibiotics, usually for treatment of acute otitis media and respiratory tract infection, were associated with a 23.8% risk (adjusted hazard ratio 1.19), with a larger effect among children delivered by caesarean section.

Published in Diabetes Care, the study used data from 797,318 singleton children born in Sweden between 1 July 2005 and 30 September 2013. Type 1 diabetes developed in 1297 children during a follow-up in 2014. T

he authors said: “The absolute risk is low, however, and antibiotics are likely to only make a small contribution to the overall risk of type 1 diabetes before age 10.”