FRIDAY, March 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Prenatal antibiotic exposure overall has no significant association with later overweight or obesity in children, but exposure during the second trimester may up later risk, according to a review published online March 3 in Obesity.

Shengrong Wan, from the Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify observational studies that investigated the association between antibiotic exposure during pregnancy and infancy and childhood overweight or obesity.

Based on 23 identified studies (1,253,035 participants), the researchers found that prenatal exposure to antibiotics was not significantly associated with childhood overweight or obesity. However, there was an increased risk for overweight or obesity when examining antibiotic use in the second trimester (risk ratio, 1.13). Antibiotic exposure during infancy was associated with an increased risk for childhood overweight or obesity (risk ratio, 1.14).

“The use of antibiotics in infancy requires caution, but it cannot be a limiting factor when infants must use antibiotics,” the authors write.

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