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Paediatrics

Childhood antibiotic exposure linked with development of juvenile idiopathic arthritis

A recent study identified an association between childhood antibiotic exposure and subsequent development of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). In the image, a young child holds out his hands

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Juvenile idiopathic arthritis occurs in children under 16 years of age and causes inflammation in the joints

Disturbances of the gut microbiome have been implicated in the development of autoimmune diseases in children. Recently, an association was identified between childhood antibiotic exposure and development of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Researchers tested this association using the UK’s Health Improvement Network general practice database.

The researchers identified 152 children with newly diagnosed JIA and matched them for age and gender with 1,520 randomly selected control children. After adjusting for other autoimmune conditions and previous infection, any antibiotic exposure was associated with an increased risk of developing JIA (adjusted odds ratio 2.1, 95% confidence interval 1.2–3.5). The relationship was dose-dependent and strongest for exposure within one year of diagnosis.

“Antibiotics may play a role in the pathogenesis of JIA,” the researchers conclude in the study, published in Pediatrics (online, 20 July 2015)[1].

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20069016

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  • A recent study identified an association between childhood antibiotic exposure and subsequent development of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). In the image, a young child holds out his hands

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