Keel University and the Quadram Institute researchers conducted a real-world analysis on primary care records and uncovered a surprising find that the probability of developing rheumatoid arthritis increases 60% more to those exposed to antibiotics. It appears that as antibiotics usage increases so does the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) impacts over 400,000 people in the UK alone and over 1.3 million in America. The disease is caused by a myriad of complex elements and factors and hence simply the use of antibiotics is not the intention of the researchers.
The researchers believe that their discovery may pave the way to new approaches of exploration for the discovery of the triggers that may be fundamental elements in potential therapies and hopefully one day a cure.
The study itself cannot be used to determine whether antibiotics causes immune disorder. Of interest infection type could be correlated to the risk of RA. For example, the UK-based team found evidence that upper respiratory tract infections treated with antibiotics appeared to be more associated with RA. However, there are plenty of other elements that could be factored into the analysis.
It was revealed that all types of antibiotics promoted the risk of developing RA and this led the researchers to determine it is probably the antibiotics itself promotes the risk. Other studies have offered a connection between antibiotic treatment and promoted probability of autoimmune disorders including a recent Polish study.
Moreover, there is a body of research that looks at the microbiome and research teams have found that the microbiome in people with RA may be less diverse. The current study is novel in that it investigates by antibiotic usage.
Clinical Research Sites
Keele University – A public research university in the UK.
Quadram Institute – A UK center for research and training in food science and health. It receives funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Christian Mallen, Head of School for Primary, Community and Social Care, Keele University
Dr. Lindsay Hall, Group Leader, Quadram Institute
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