Taking antibiotics during pregnancy does not raise the risk of the child going on to develop type 1 diabetes, researchers have said.
The work was carried out because previous studies have discovered evidence linking early exposure to antibiotics and childhood type 1 diabetes.
The Danish study tracked the health data of more than 92,000 children who were born between 1996-2002. The children were then monitored for an average of 14 years.
The research team cross-referenced those women who took antibiotics during their pregnancy with the number of children who went on to develop type 1 diabetes. They also looked at several different types of antibiotics and when they were taken over the course of the three pregnancy trimesters.
By the end of the study period, no evidence was found to suggest antibiotics raised the risk of type 1 diabetes in the children. Neither the trimester of the pregnancy nor the type of antibiotic were linked to any increased risk.
Responding to the findings, JDRF said: “These results offer welcome reassurance that taking antibiotics during pregnancy does not affect the risk of type 1 diabetes in children.”
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, although health professionals around the world are trying to reduce the amount that people take due to concerns people are becoming immune to the drug.
The researchers concluded: “Maternal use of antibiotics during pregnancy was not associated with childhood type 1 diabetes. Thus, the results from this study do not support a revision of the clinical recommendations on treatment with antibiotics during pregnancy.”
The findings have been published online in Diabetes Care.

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