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Associations between Early-life Antibiotic Exposure and Childhood Overweight: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
J. Kor. Soc. Health-syst. Pharm. 2018;35:310-318
Published online August 31, 2018
© 2018 Korean Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Soo Jeong Oha, Gi Jung Kwonb and Hye Duck Choia,†

College of Pharmacy, Yeungnam University, 280 Daehak-Ro, Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do, 38541, Republic of Koreaa
Yeungnam University Medical Center, 170 Hyeonchung-ro, Nam-gu, Daegu 42415, Republic of Koreab
Correspondence to: 최혜덕 Tel:053-810-2815
Received January 9, 2018; Revised February 27, 2018; Accepted June 22, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background : Recently, several studies have shown that early-life antibiotic exposure is associated with the development of childhood overweight or obesity. However, study design and duration of exposure to antibiotics were different in some studies, resulting in different conclusions.
Objective : To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the association between early-life antibiotic exposure and development of overweight and obesity.
Methods : A comprehensive search was performed to identify articles published prior to May 31, 2017 using PubMed and Cochrane Library. Eleven studies were finally included. Five of them were used for meta-analysis while the other six studies were used for qualitative analysis.
Results : As a result of meta-analysis of five studies, early-life antibiotics exposure was significantly associated with the development of childhood overweight or obesity (OR=0.821; 95% CI: 0.766~0.880). Most studies used for qualitative analysis showed consistent results with meta-analysis Effects of gender and phase of exposure were also evaluated in detail in these studies.
Conclusions : Overall, exposure to antibiotics within six years of age had a high risk of becoming overweight or obese in early childhood. Therefore, more careful considerations are needed when treating pediatric patients with antibiotics.
Keywords : Childhood overweight, Obesity, Antibiotics, Meta-analysis, Systematic review