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Antibiotics increase IBD risk in over-40s

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If you’re over 40, think twice about taking courses of antibiotics.

Researchers have discovered that the drugs increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—which includes Crohn’s disease and colitis—by as much as 50 percent in the over-40s.

Although people of all ages are at risk of IBD from taking antibiotics, it’s most pronounced in older people, say researchers from Aalborg University in Denmark.

The risk increases with each course of the drug.  One course of antibiotics increases IBD risk by 27 percent, and this rises by 15 percent for every course after that, so someone who has taken three courses has a risk profile of around 57 percent.  An over-40 who has been prescribed antibiotics five or more times is twice as likely to develop IBD than someone who has never taken the drug.

Researchers reviewed data from six million Danes, collected over 10 years, and discovered that 90 percent had been prescribed antibiotics sometime during the decade, with 36,000 developing colitis and a further 17,000 being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

IBD developed at least two years after completing a course of antibiotics, and the risk was greatest for drugs that targeted bacterial gut infections.

Aalborg University, study yet to be published.  Daily Telegraph, January 10, 2023

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Article Topics: antibiotics, IBD risk
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