Use of antibiotics may be linked to higher risk of diabetes, according to a latest study published in an international journal. Doctors and experts said the findings are highly relevant to India because of huge prevalence of diabetes as well as irrational use of such medicines.
Findings of the study, conducted at the Center for Diabetes Research at University of Copenhagen, showed prior exposure to antibiotics was associated with a 53% increased risk of developing Type2 diabetes. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism last week.
Though the study was conducted based on data from three national Danish registries, medical experts say the findings are significant because clinically, these add a new argument to the current move for less frequent and more judicious use of antibiotics.
“The angle needs to be investigated further. It is important mainly because it is known that bacteria in the gut have some connection with use of antibiotics. Excess use of such medicines or irrational use of antibiotics can produce imbalance in the gut leading to metabolic disorders,” says Dr Anoop Misra, a leading endocrinologist and chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases.
According to Misra, there is a need to immediately curb the irrational use of antibiotics in India.
Apart from medical experts, the government and drug regulatory agencies too have lately expressed concern about use of antibiotics in India which is leading to antibiotic resistance and many other health problems. However, despite forming stringent norms and guidelines, the government has so far failed to curb the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics or even create enough awareness among doctors regarding ‘irrational’ prescription.
The issue of developing antibiotic resistance due to irrational prescription and usage was also discussed at the World Health Organisation’s conference at Geneva recently.