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Antibiotic Exposure is Associated With a Risk of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma.

Thanawala SU, Kaplan DE, Falk GW, Beveridge CA, Schaubel D, Serper M, Yang YX. Antibiotic Exposure is Associated With a Risk of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. 2023 Oct 1; 21(11):2817-2824.e4.

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BACKGROUND and AIMS: Antibiotic exposure leads to changes in the gut microbiota. Our objective was to evaluate the association between antibiotic exposure and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) risk. METHODS: We performed a nested case-control study using data from the Veterans Health Administration from 2004 through 2020. The case group consisted of patients who received an incident diagnosis of EAC. For each case, up to 20 matched controls were selected using incidence density sampling. Our primary exposure of interest was any oral or intravenous antibiotic use. Our secondary exposures included cumulative number of days of exposure and classification of antibiotics by various subgroups. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the crude and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for the risk of EAC associated with antibiotic exposure. RESULTS: The case-control analysis included 8226 EAC cases and 140,670 matched controls. Exposure to any antibiotic was associated with an aOR for EAC of 1.74 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.65-1.83) vs no antibiotic exposure. Compared with no antibiotic exposure, the aOR for EAC was 1.63 (95% CI, 1.52-1.74; P < .001) for cumulative exposure to any antibiotic for 1 to 15 days; 1.77 (95% CI, 1.65-1.89; P < 0 .001) for 16 to 47 days; and 1.87 (95% CI, 1.75-2.01; P < .001) for = 48 days, respectively (P for trend < .001). CONCLUSION: Exposure to any antibiotic is associated with an increased risk of EAC, and this risk increases as the cumulative days of exposure increase. This novel finding is hypothesis-generating for potential mechanisms that may play a role in the development or progression of EAC.

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