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Antibiotics in early childhood increases risks of milk allergy and asthma | Updated: 2014-03-14 13:35

The use of antibiotics in early childhood could increase risks of allergy to cow's milk and asthma, said a latest doctoral dissertation published by the University of Tampere, Finland.

The information of a cohort of Finnish children born from 1996 to 2004 collected from the national registry was used in the study. Among the children, more than 16,000 diagnosed with cow's milk allergy and 20,000 with asthma by the end of 2005 were identified as cases. For each case, one gender, birth date and birth hospital district-matched child was selected.

Information on antibiotic purchases and other related factors was obtained from some other relevant national authorities.

After comparative analysis, the result showed that the children who used antibiotics had a higher risk of developing asthma or cow's milk allergy in early childhood than those who did not use antibiotics.

In addition, a mother's use of antibiotics during perinatal period was also associated with an increased risk of developing both cow's milk allergy and asthma in early childhood.

Despite other risk factors, the study supported a notion that microbial exposure in both fetal period and early childhood exerts impacts on development of cow's milk allergy and asthma in childhood.

According to the author of the thesis, the prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in childhood has increased in many industrialized countries in the world since the second half of the twentieth century.

To reduce the prevalence, identifying the factors that may influence the development of asthma and allergic diseases is therefore an important precondition.

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