Antibiotic Exposure, Diet Increase Risk for Pediatric IBD

Regular and higher vegetable intake is linked to lower risk for pediatric IBD, while higher risk is seen for intake of sugary drinks and candies.

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.”

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