A new study by an international team of scientists has found an association between antibiotic use in the first few days of life and reduced height and weight in boys in early childhood. In the study, published yesterday in Nature Communications, a team led by scientists from Finland and Israel looked at the impacts of neonatal antibiotic use on two large cohorts of children and found in both that boys exposed to antibiotics within the first 14 days of life gained less weight and height during the first 6 years of life compared with boys who were not exposed to antibiotics. The findings were not observed in girls, however. In contrast, when the researchers looked at antibiotic exposure in infancy after the neonatal period, they found that in both boys and girls, antibiotic use was associated with increased weight during first 6 years of life—a finding that is in line with previous studies.

 

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