Antibiotic Exposure in Early Life and Childhood Overweight and Obesity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2018 Jun;20(6):1508-1514. doi: 10.1111/dom.13230. Epub 2018 Feb 25.

Abstract

We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies investigating the association between antibiotic exposure in infancy and risk of childhood overweight and obesity. Thirteen studies, including a total of 527 504 children, were included in the systematic review and 8 were included in meta-analyses. Exposure to antibiotics in infancy was associated with an increased odds ratio (OR) of childhood overweight and obesity (OR 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.20). Whereas exposure to 1 treatment only and exposure between 6 and 24 months were not associated with increased risk of childhood overweight and obesity, exposure to >1 treatment was associated with an OR of 1.24 (95% CI 1.09-1.43) and exposure within the first 6 months of life was associated with an OR of 1.20 (95% CI 1.04-1.37). In conclusion, antibiotic exposure in infancy was associated with a slightly increased risk of childhood overweight and obesity, mainly if children were exposed to repeated treatments or treatment within the first 6 months of life. It is unclear whether this association is mediated via direct effects of antibiotics on the gut microbiota.

Keywords: anti-bacterial agents; body mass index; child; gastrointestinal microbiome; infant; meta-analysis; review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Overweight / chemically induced*
  • Pediatric Obesity / chemically induced
  • Risk Factors

Substances

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents