Studies: Antibiotics in young children increase the risk of allergies

Studies: Antibiotics in young children increase the risk of allergies

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If young children take antibiotics, the later risk of allergies increases
Many diseases are currently treated with antibiotics. Researchers have now found that people with early exposure to antibiotics have an increased risk of developing allergies later in life. So another reason why antibiotics should only be used in urgent emergencies in young children. In general, antibiotics should not be prescribed senselessly, only in this way can we prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Scientists from Utrecht University in the Netherlands found in an investigation that taking antibiotics early could cause problems at a later age. Affected people have an increased risk of developing allergies later in their lives. The physicians presented the results of their study at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in London.

Antibiotic resistance on the rise
Doctors have long warned against over-prescribing antibiotics. A health insurance study found some time ago that doctors in Germany often prescribe antibiotics only on suspicion. More and more strains of bacteria around the world are developing immunity to antibiotics through these senseless prescriptions. For example, there are forms of gonorrhea in which the triggering bacterium of the disease has become resistant to conventional antibiotic treatments to a large percentage. These pathogens with antibiotic resistance assume a dangerous level.

New treatments against antibiotic-resistant bacteria coming soon?
The increasing resistance to antibiotics is a great danger for us humans. If certain strains of bacteria can no longer be treated with antibiotics, the risk of a worldwide spread increases. That is why doctors are intensifying their fight against antibiotic resistance. Some time ago, experts announced that new treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacteria had been discovered.

Researchers analyze the data from almost 400,000 subjects in 44 studies
An investigation of nearly 400,000 subjects showed that early exposure to antibiotics leads to an increased risk of developing allergies later in life, explains author Dr. Fariba Ahmadizar from Utrecht University. A total of 44 studies were examined, which assessed the risk of eczema and hay fever. Attempts have been made to find out whether early antibiotic use affects the frequency of the disease, the scientists say. 22 studies examined the development of hay fever. 22 other studies looked at the risk of developing eczema. Twelve of the studies dealt with both eczema and hay fever, the authors explain.

Studies have found an increased risk of developing allergies
The increased risk of developing eczema due to the early use of antibiotics during the first two years of life varies between 15 and 41 percent, the scientists explain. It has also been found that early antibiotic use increases the risk of hay fever by 16 to 56 percent later in life. The results were dependent on the respective study, the doctors add. Generally speaking, based on the results, one can say that exposure to antibiotics in early life is associated with an increased risk of eczema and hay fever, explains Dr. Ahmadizar. (as)

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