In a new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism entitled “Use of Antibiotics and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-Based Case-Control Study,” researchers from Denmark report a possible link between use of antibiotics and risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a disorder characterized by high blood sugar induced by relative lack of insulin. Patients with type 2 diabetes may suffer from increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and in many cases complications may lead to heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and even amputation. Various factors can cause type 2 diabetes including genetic aspects and life style influences such as diet, obesity, stress, health problems and several classes of medications including steroid hormones, antipsychotic, and cholesterol lowering drugs. In a recent study, researchers from Denmark claim that another class of medication (antibiotics) may cause type 2 diabetes.
In this study, the researchers combined data registered between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2012 taken from several sources like Danish National Registry of Patients, the Danish National Prescription Registry, and the Danish Person Registry to conduct a population-based case-control study of type 2 diabetes cases in Denmark. It is important to point out that Danish health registries enable true population-based studies that cover all inhabitants of Denmark (population 5.6 million). The evaluation was carried out by the conventional method of matched case-control analysis.
The statistical analysis of the registries revealed an increasing relationship between numbers of antibiotic prescriptions and type 2 diabetes incidents. Thought no specific association between type 2 diabetes and the nature of the prescribed antibiotic is found, a slightly higher risk was recorded with bactericidal antibiotics when compared to bacteriostatic antibiotics. The data also suggest an increasing link between the amount of consumed antibiotics (dosage) and the induced type 2 diabetes incidents.
In conclusion, these results could support the hypothesis that antibiotics increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, this does not rule out that the data may also show an elevated demand for antibiotics induced from increased risk of infections in patients not yet diagnosed with diabetes. As a result, the researchers concluded that further investigations of long-term risk of antibiotics on diabetes and body weight gain are required. They suggested to investigate cases of penicillin antibiotic in particular.