<--GAT-->
Obesity

Military Study: Early Antibiotics, Acid-Suppressants Raise Obesity Risk

by Brenda Mooney

December 20, 2018

EL PASO—Early exposure to antibiotics and acid-suppressing medications is linked with the development of obesity, with an even stronger association after prolonged courses or with prescriptions for multiple antibiotic classes, according to a new military study.

The critical question is how multiple microbiota-altering medication groups affect obesity risk, according to the researchers.

“The findings offer a framework for prospective research on inpatient and outpatient medication exposures and the subsequent development of obesity in pediatric patients,” wrote study authors led by Christopher M. Stark, MD, of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD. “The recognition of modifiable risk factors for obesity is an essential step towards reducing the incidence and burden of the disease.”

Co-authors with Stark were Apryl Susi, PhD, of the Department of Pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, and Jill Emerick, MD, and Cade M. Nylund, MD, both of Walter Reed and USU.

Background information in the article published in The BMJ journal Gut noted that the composition of the microbiome has been linked to various aspects of human health, including obesity. The type and volume of bacteria in the gut can be altered by certain drugs, including antibiotics and acid suppressants-histamine 2 receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors.1

“We hypothesized that young children exposed to microbiota-altering medications in the first two years of life are more likely to develop obesity,” the authors explained. “We used a large electronic medical record database to evaluate this association. We also sought to evaluate a potential dose effect, measured by the length of medication exposure and the effect of exposure to multiple different microbiota-altering medications on the development of obesity.”

To do that, the researchers looked at prescriptions for 333,353 infants treated by the U.S. military’s TRICARE health system from 2006-13 in the first two years of their lives.

Most, 72.5% had been prescribed an antibioticn nearly 12% an H2RA and nearly 3% a PPI during this period. All three types of the drug were prescribed to about 5,800 of the children.

Records showed that slightly more than 14% of the children became obese, with 11% of those having been prescribed no antibiotics or acid suppressants.

Results indicated that antibiotic prescriptions were associated with obesity (HR 1.26; 95% CI 1.23 to 1.28). “This association persisted, regardless of antibiotic class, and strengthened with each additional class of antibiotic prescribed,” study authors pointed out. “H2RA and PPI prescriptions were also associated with obesity, with a stronger association for each 30-day supply prescribed. The HR increased commensurately with exposure to each additional medication group prescribed.”

A prescription for antibiotics—regardless of type—was associated with a 26% heightened risk of obesity by the age of 3, the average age of which obesity was first identified in the study.

More likely to become obese were boys, those born after a caesarean section and those whose parents were below officer rank, the study team reports.

The researchers concluded, “Microbiota-altering medications administered in early childhood may influence weight gain,” adding, “There is an important therapeutic role for microbiota-altering medications. The long term risks to health must be weighed against the short-term benefits.”

1. Stark CM, Susi A, Emerick J, Nylund CM. Antibiotic and acid-suppression medications during early childhood are associated with obesity. Gut. 2018 Oct 30. pii: gutjnl-2017-314971. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2017-314971. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30377188.



Related Articles

VAMCs Usually as Good or Better Than Private Hospitals in Same Communities

Veterans are being given more options for obtaining care outside of the VA healthcare system. The question raised in new research is whether doing so improves care.

Report Could Add 23 Presumptive Conditions for Gulf War Veterans

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that sufficient evidence supported an association between exposure to seven factors and detrimental reproductive effects in men or women who served in the Gulf War or developmental effects in their children.


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From obesity

Obesity

DHA Adds New Weapons in the Military’s War on Obesity in Servicemembers

This spring, DoD took direct steps to counter a significant impediment to mission readiness—excessive weight among servicemembers.

Obesity

Obesity Is on the Rise in Veterans, Especially VHA Patients

Obesity is increasing among veterans, and the implications are potentially dire because the condition is associated with a range of serious health conditions, according to new research.

Obesity

Military Recruits from Some Southern States Have Lower Fitness, More Injuries

Military readiness and national security are threatened by high rates of obesity in some areas, with U.S. Army recruits from specific states having lower fitness and higher rates of injuries, according to a new study.

Obesity

Specialist Follow-Up Mitigates Anemia Risk of Bariatric Surgery

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the criterion standard operation for weight loss, but it also increases the risk of adverse outcomes such as mineral and/or vitamin deficiency.

Obesity

Obesity Linked to Higher PC Mortality

While, at the population level, obesity is associated with prostate cancer (PC) mortality, little information is available on how obesity affects long-term PC-specific outcomes after initial treatment, according to a study in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases.

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up