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Repeated Exposure to Antibiotics in Infancy: A Predisposing Factor for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis or a Sign of This Group's Greater Susceptibility to Infections?

Julkaistu 1.3.2015



Previous exposure to antibiotics has been associated with the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases. Our objective was to explore whether childhood exposure to antibiotics would be associated with the risk of developing juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).


The material was collected from national registers containing all children born in 2000-2010 in Finland and diagnosed with JIA by the end of December 2012 (n = 1298) and appropriate controls (n = 5179) matched for age, sex, and place of birth. All purchases of antibiotics were collected from birth until the index date (i.e., the date of special reimbursement for JIA medications). A conditional logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between the exposure to antibiotics and the risk of JIA.


The risk of JIA increased with the number of antibiotic purchases from birth to the index date: for ≥ 1 purchases versus none, OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.3-1.9 with an upward trend in OR (p < 0.001). Antibiotic groups lincosamides and cephalosporins showed the strongest association with JIA (OR 6.6, 95% CI 3.7-11.7, and OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.4-1.8, respectively). Overall exposure to antibiotics before 2 years of age was associated with an increased risk of JIA (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.6), with the trend test of OR (p < 0.001).


Previous early and repeated exposure to antibiotics may predispose individuals to develop JIA. Alternatively, the apparent association may reflect shared susceptibility to infections and JIA.

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Miika Arvonen, Lauri Virta, Tytti Pokka, Liisa Kröger, Paula Vähäsalo

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: kyllä.
  • Koko viite: Arvonen, M., Virta, L. J., Pokka, T., Kröger, L., & Vähäsalo, P. (2015). Repeated exposure to antibiotics in infancy: a predisposing factor for juvenile idiopathic arthritis or a sign of this group's greater susceptibility to infections? The Journal of rheumatology, 42(3), 521–526. 

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