New study links antibiotic use to increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on August 28, 2015 under Information, News, Society | Be the First to Comment

According to a new study published August 27, 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by Kristian Hallundback Mikkelsen, MD, a PhD student at the Center for Diabetes Research, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen (Hellerup, Denmark) and colleagues;  there are suggestions of a clear link between Type 2 diabetes mellitus and the number of times a patient has been prescribed antibiotics.

Data from three national Danish registries revealed that prior exposure to antibiotics was associated with a 53% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (170,404 patients with Type 2 diabetes and 1.3 million who did not have the disease).

The finding could mean that antibiotics play a direct causal role in type 2 diabetes or that people with as-yet-undiagnosed diabetes may have a greater risk for infection and therefore are more likely to use antibiotics.

“Both interpretations are supported by the literature and could contribute to the observed associations,” Dr Mikkelsen told Medscape Medical News.

They found the risk of getting diabetes was highest in those given antibiotics that are effective against a narrow range of bacteria.

Study author Dr Kristian Mikkelsen said: “In our research we found people who have Type 2 diabetes used significantly more antibiotics up to 15 years prior to diagnosis compared to healthy controls.”

Dr Mikkelsen, of Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, also said more research was needed because the findings did not prove that the drugs trigger diabetes.

Antibiotics, the main way of treating infections for more than 60 years, can alter the bugs living in the gut.
Some of these bugs may contribute to the impaired ability of people living with diabetes to metabolise sugar.

But an alternative explanation could be that people with undiagnosed diabetes may be more prone to infection and therefore use more antibiotics.

Clinically, the findings add a new argument to the current movement toward less frequent and more judicious use of antibiotics.

“Microbiologists frequently remind clinicians not to overuse antibiotics because of the growing resistance problems and inadequate development of new antibiotics. If it appears that antibiotics also have long-term and potentially negative metabolic adverse effects, it of course puts additional weight behind a strict policy for antibiotics prescribing and selling,” he noted.

Sources: Daily Express UK; Medscape News.

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