Infant antibiotic exposure linked to childhood asthma

Receiving antibiotics during infancy is associated with developing asthma during childhood, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Researchers studied 152,622 children enrolled in the Tennessee Medicaid program and determined infant antibiotic use and childhood asthma diagnosis.

They found 79 percent of the children had received at least one antibiotic prescription during infancy. They also found that the odds of developing childhood asthma increased 20 percent with each additional antibiotic prescription filled.

Infants who received broad spectrum-only antibiotics had increased odds of developing asthma compared to infants who received narrow spectrum-only antibiotics.

"Clinical decision-making regarding antibiotic stewardship and prevention of adverse effects should be critically assessed prior to use during infancy," study authors concluded.

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