Type 2 Diabetes Linked to Antibiotic Use
People who develop type 2 diabetes are likely to have taken more antibiotics in years prior to diagnosis than people who don't have the blood sugar condition, a new study reports.
The findings come from research on more than 170, 504 people with type 2 diabetes and 1.3 million people without diabetes. Researchers analyzed how antibiotic use corresponded with diabetes risk, finding that people who filed more prescriptions had a higher likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
"Although we cannot infer causality from this study, the findings raise the possibility that antibiotics could raise the risk of type 2 diabetes," said study author Kristian Hallundbæk Mikkelsen, MD, from Gentofte Hospital in Denmark.
A greater risk for infections?
The authors also hypothesize that people with type 2 diabetes face a greater risk for infections due to the disease, which could explain the greater usage of antibiotics.
Another possible explanation is that antibiotics can alter gut bacteria, which - recent research shows - may have a direct link to metabolic processes and the development of disease.
While many types of antibiotics were associated with diabetes in the study, narrow-spectrum drugs like penicillin V were most closely linked to increased risk.
"Diabetes is one of the greatest challenges facing modern health care, with a globally increasing incidence," said Mikkelsen. "Patterns in antibiotic use may offer an opportunity to prevent the development of the disease or to diagnose it early."
The study is published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Source: The Endocrine Society