Antibiotic Use Linked to Increased Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 09, 2015 05:26 PM

Antibiotic use was associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes in a new population-based, case-control study. Data from three national Danish registries revealed that prior exposure to antibiotics was associated with a 53% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The finding could mean that antibiotics play a direct causal role in type 2 diabetes or that people with as-yet-undiagnosed diabetes may have a greater risk for infection and therefore are more likely to use antibiotics.

Clinically, the findings add a new argument to the current movement toward less frequent and more judicious use of antibiotics. Microbiologists frequently remind clinicians not to overuse antibiotics because of the growing resistance problems and inadequate development of new antibiotics. If it appears that antibiotics also have long-term and potentially negative metabolic adverse effects, it of course puts additional weight behind a strict policy for antibiotics prescribing and selling.

This is an "important paper" and a "very well-conducted large-scale study" that provides further evidence of the importance of gut microbiota in human health and disease.  "The results are consistent with a growing body of data that antibiotics affect metabolism though their 'collateral' effects on the micro biome." 

The study used data from three national Danish databases — the Danish National Registry of Patients, the Danish National Prescription Registry, and the Danish Person Registry — which cover nearly all 5.6 million inhabitants of Denmark.

The investigators identified 170,504 individuals who received an incident prescription of a glucose-lowering agents during 2012 and matched them by age and gender to 8 (total 1,364,008) people without diabetes. The entire study population had a median age 62 years and 52% were male.  They analyzed data on antibiotic use going back to 1995.