Home Health Antibiotics associated with inflammatory bowel disease

Antibiotics associated with inflammatory bowel disease


Using Denmark’s national database, which includes almost all medical records for residents, the researchers looked at records of discharges for people aged 60 and older who were first diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease from 2000 to 2018. The study looked at the number of prescribed courses of antibiotics, how recently they were prescribed due to diagnosis and certain classes of antibiotics used.

The study found that any use of antibiotics was associated with higher rates of inflammatory bowel disease, and the risk increased significantly with each course. After one prescription, patients were 27 percent more likely than those who did not use antibiotics to be diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.

Antibiotics for gastrointestinal disorders

With two courses, the risk increased by 55 percent, and with three courses – by 67 percent. With four courses, the risk increased by 96 percent; and with five or more in the elderly more than 2.3 times, or 236 percent, are more likely to get a new diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease than in the elderly who had not had antibiotics in the previous five years.

New diagnoses were highest when antibiotics were prescribed one to two years before, but the risk remained elevated for prescriptions two to five years before diagnosis. An association has been found for all types of antibiotics except nitrofurantoin, which is commonly prescribed for urinary tract infections.

Antibiotics, which are usually prescribed for gastrointestinal infections, are most often associated with a new diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease. Researchers missed prescriptions less than a year before diagnosis to reduce the likelihood that prescriptions were for symptoms of undiagnosed gastrointestinal disease.

The study is important for diagnosing the elderly with new gastrointestinal symptoms. Inflammatory bowel disease should be considered, which in this age group can be easily overlooked, especially if there is a history of antibiotic prescriptions, Dr. Faye said.

The study also has implications for antibiotic management. In addition to preventing the development of multiple drug resistance, the judicious use of antibiotics is crucial to prevent inflammatory bowel disease.

“Antibiotic care is very important, but avoiding antibiotics at all costs is also not the right answer,” Dr. Faye said. “If you’re not sure what you’re treating, I’ll be careful. If patients come with obvious infections and need antibiotics, they shouldn’t be denied because of these findings.” The study was conducted in partnership with the program of the Danish National Center of Excellence PREDICT. The authors did not report any conflicts of interest related to this study.

Source: Eurekalert

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