A new study has shed light on the potential link between antibiotics and the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, which looked at the medical data of 6 million Danish citizens aged 10 and up, found that taking antibiotics at any age increased the risk of developing IBD. People aged 10 to 40 were 28% more likely to be diagnosed with IBD after taking at least one round of antibiotics, while those aged 40 to 60 were 46% more likely, and those over 60 were 47% more likely. The risk factor was cumulative, with each round of antibiotics increasing the risk, and the highest risk occurring 1 to 2 years after antibiotic use. In addition, the risk decreased the longer a person went without taking antibiotics. The only antibiotic not associated with IBD was Nitrofurantoin.
The study highlights the importance of antibiotic stewardship and careful consideration when using antibiotics. Experts suggest that antibiotics should be used only when necessary and that antibiotic stewardship is key in preventing drug resistance and limiting the development of IBD. While antibiotics are essential in certain cases, this research adds to the growing body of evidence about the potentially harmful side effects of their use.