DDW: Antibiotic Exposure, Diet Increase Risk for Pediatric IBD

Regular/higher vegetable intake linked to lower risk for pediatric IBD, while higher risk seen for intake of sugary drinks, candies
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, May 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Factors associated with the risk for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (PIBD) include exposure to antibiotics during early childhood and a Western diet, according to research presented at the 2023 Digestive Disease Week, held from May 6 to 9 in Chicago.

Nisha Thacker, from the University of Newcastle in Australia, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 36 observational studies including 6.4 million children to examine the contribution of diet and other environmental factors to PIBD.

The researchers found that the pooled odds ratios (95 percent confidence intervals) for PIBD were 4.54 (1.47 to 14.02), 2.55 (1.79 to 3.65), and 3.46 (2.14 to 5.60) for those exposed to antibiotics during early childhood, those with one to four courses of antibiotics, and those with more than four antibiotic courses, respectively. Higher odds of PIBD were seen in association with higher education/high socioeconomic status/full-time parent employment and urban living (odds ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 2.55 [1.40 to 4.63] and 1.70 [0.96 to 3.00], respectively). Regular/higher vegetable intake was associated with a lower risk for PIBD (odds ratio, 0.47; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.2 to 1.06), while higher risk was seen in association with intake of sugary beverages and/or candies (odds ratio, 2.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.06 to 3.85). Mixed results were seen for breast feeding (odds ratio, 1.05; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.90 to 1.22). Older maternal age (older than 29 years) was associated with an increased risk for PIBD (odds ratio, 2.55; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 8.06).

"Many of these factors can impact our gut microbiota and may have a particularly strong effect in a child," Thacker said in a statement. "A Western diet, high in sugars and ultraprocessed foods and low in vegetables, is a prime example."

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