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.
Researchers found that the pooled odds ratios (95% 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 1 to 4 courses of antibiotics, and those with more than 4 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% 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% 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% confidence interval, 1.06 to 3.85). Mixed results were seen for breast feeding (odds ratio, 1.05; 95% 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% 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.”