A retrospective analysis of administrative claims data from a large U.S. health insurer was performed to study a potential association between oral antibiotic use during early childhood and occurrence of later gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Among 3253 children with ASD, 37.0% had a GI-related diagnosis during the last two years of their five-year health coverage enrollment period, compared to 20.0% of 278370 children from the general population without an ASD diagnosis. Greater numbers of oral antibiotic fills during the first three years of enrollment were found to significantly increase the hazard rate of having a later GI-related diagnosis (adjusted hazard ratio 1.48; 95% confidence interval 1.34, 1.63) in children both with and without ASD.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 49, No. 2, pp. 647-659 (2019)