PCORnet Obesity and Antibiotics Study

Project Summary

The PCORnet study on childhood obesity will look at the relationship between antibiotic use in the first two years of life, and weight gain in later childhood.  The study will review electronic health records of approximately 600,000 patients to compare the effects of different types of antibiotics on children’s growth and weight at ages 5 and 10.  The study will also assess the frequency of the drug’s use and other factors that could affect weight.  With previous research showing a link between the use of wide-spectrum antibiotics and an increased risk for obesity, the results of this study will provide information to help patients, pediatricians, and other healthcare stakeholders make better informed decisions about antibiotic use in early childhood.

Project Aims

The antibiotics observational study will address three aims:  1) to compare the effects of different types, timing, and amount of antibiotics used in the first two years of life with BMI and obesity at ages 5 and 10, 2) to compare the effects of antibiotic use on rates and patterns of children’s growth during their first five years, and 3) to explore how different factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, geographical location, or characteristics of the mother such as her BMI or type of delivery may impact outcomes.


Grantee Institution:  Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Mid-South PI: William Heerman, MD, MPH

Funding Source: PCORI

Participating Mid-South Sites: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Greenway Health, and University North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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