Captain Obvious statement: antibiotics before age 2 associated with later health problems

Observational study released by the Rochester Epidemiology Project

Today, Monday, November 16, the results of an alarming observational study were released that link the use of antibiotics in children under age two with an increased risk of developing a wide range of health conditions later in their childhood.

The Rochester Epidemiology Project (R.E.P.) released a retrospective case study that reviewed 14,500 records in which 70 percent had received antibiotics medication in their first and second years of life. The R.E.P. published their observations in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. It followed children for 8 years, some as long as 14 years.

It should be made clear that the study shows association and is not concrete proof of causality. However, it shows that children given antibiotics before age 2 were more likely to develop one or more conditions including asthma, seasonal and food allergies, celiac disease, atopic dermatitis, ADHD and obesity.

Is anyone not surprised by this? I, for one, am not. This should give pause to the approach we take with treating childhood ailments. I know how difficult it is to have a child battling an ear ache while the parent or medical provider jointly don't know what is wrong.


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