Article Text

PDF
Original article
Long-term use of antibiotics and risk of colorectal adenoma
  1. Yin Cao1,2,3,
  2. Kana Wu3,
  3. Raaj Mehta1,2,
  4. David A Drew1,2,
  5. Mingyang Song1,2,3,
  6. Paul Lochhead1,2,
  7. Long H Nguyen1,2,
  8. Jacques Izard4,
  9. Charles S Fuchs5,6,7,
  10. Wendy S Garrett8,9,10,
  11. Curtis Huttenhower9,11,
  12. Shuji Ogino8,12,13,
  13. Edward L Giovannucci3,12,14,
  14. Andrew T Chan1,2,9,14
  1. 1Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4Food Science and Technology Department, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
  5. 5Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  6. 6Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  7. 7Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  8. 8Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  9. 9Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  10. 10Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  11. 11Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  12. 12Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  13. 13Division of MPE Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  14. 14Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew T Chan, Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA; achan{at}mgh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Objective Recent evidence suggests that antibiotic use, which alters the gut microbiome, is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. However, the association between antibiotic use and risk of colorectal adenoma, the precursor for the majority of colorectal cancers, has not been investigated.

Design We prospectively evaluated the association between antibiotic use at age 20–39 and 40–59 (assessed in 2004) and recent antibiotic use (assessed in 2008) with risk of subsequent colorectal adenoma among 16 642 women aged ≥60 enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study who underwent at least one colonoscopy through 2010. We used multivariate logistic regression to calculate ORs and 95% CIs.

Results We documented 1195 cases of adenoma. Increasing duration of antibiotic use at age 20–39 (ptrend=0.002) and 40–59 (ptrend=0.001) was significantly associated with an increased risk of colorectal adenoma. Compared with non-users, women who used antibiotics for ≥2 months between age 20 and 39 had a multivariable OR of 1.36 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.79). Women who used ≥2 months of antibiotics between age 40 and 59 had a multivariable OR of 1.69 (95% CI 1.24 to 2.31). The associations were similar for low-risk versus high-risk adenomas (size ≥1 cm, or with tubulovillous/villous histology, or ≥3 detected lesions), but appeared modestly stronger for proximal compared with distal adenomas. In contrast, recent antibiotic use within the past four years was not associated with risk of adenoma (ptrend=0.44).

Conclusions Long-term antibiotic use in early-to-middle adulthood was associated with increased risk of colorectal adenoma.

  • ANTIBIOTICS
  • COLORECTAL ADENOMAS
  • COLONIC MICROFLORA
  • INFLAMMATION

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Contributors SO, ELG and ATC contributed equally to the article. YC and ATC had full access to all of the data in the study, and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Study concept and design: YC, ELG and ATC. Acquisition of data: YC, KW, CSF, ELG and ATC. Analysis and interpretation of data: all co-authors. Drafting of the manuscript: YC and ATC. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: all co-authors. Statistical analysis: YC. Obtained funding: YC, KW, CSF, JI, WSG, CH, SO, ELG and ATC. Administrative, technical or material support; and study supervision: ATC

  • Funding This work was supported by US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants (P01 CA87969 to MJS; UM1 CA186107 to MJS; P50 CA127003 to CSF; R01 CA202704 to JI, WSG, CH and ATC; R01 CA137178 to ATC; K24 DK098311 to ATC; R01 CA151993 to SO; R35 CA197735 to SO); and by grants from The Raymond P. Lavietes Foundation (to YC), The Project P Fund, The Friends of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Bennett Family Fund and The Entertainment Industry Foundation through National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.

  • Competing interests ATC previously served as a consultant for Bayer Healthcare, Pozen and Pfizer for work unrelated to the topic of this manuscript. This study was not funded by Bayer Healthcare, Pozen or Pfizer.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the institutional review board at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.