Data on 1 million people suggests a higher risk of the illness linked to changes in gut microbes
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Robert Preidt
Researchers analyzed data from one million people in the United Kingdom and found that those who were prescribed at least two courses of four types of antibiotics -- penicillins, cephalosporins, quinolones and macrolides -- were more likely to develop diabetes.
The risk of diabetes rose with the number of antibiotics prescribed, the findings showed. Two to five courses of a penicillin increased the risk of diabetes by 8 percent, while more than five courses increased the risk by 23 percent.
Two to five courses of quinolones increased the risk of diabetes by 15 percent, and more than five courses increased the risk by 37 percent, the study found.
The study was published March 25 in the European Journal of Endocrinology.
"While our study does not show cause and effect, we think changing levels and diversity of gut bacteria could explain the link between antibiotics and diabetes risk," study senior author Dr. Yu-Xiao Yang, of the University of Pennsylvania, said in a journal news release.
According to lead author Dr. Ben Boursi, "gut bacteria have been suggested to influence the mechanisms behind obesity, insulin resistance [a precursor to diabetes] and diabetes in both animal and human models. Previous studies have shown that antibiotics can alter the digestive ecosystem."
Two other experts agreed that the findings are intriguing and warrant further study.
"It has been recognized for some time that bacteria in one part of the body can contribute to inflammation in another," said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, director of the Diabetes Management Program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City.
He pointed to the connection between gingivitis -- a bacterial infection of the mouth -- and heart disease, as one example. So, linkages between alterations in bacteria in the gut and diabetes are not far-fetched, Bernstein said.
source : Study Ties Frequent Antibiotic Use to Higher Odds for Type 2 Diabetes