Am J Perinatol
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1774315
Original Article

Neonatal Ampicillin/Gentamicin Exposure and the Risk of Childhood Obesity in South Bronx Pediatric Population

1   Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, New York
Ana Patricia Torga
1   Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, New York
Mohamed Aashiq Abdul Ghayum
1   Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, New York
Nadeem Mousa
1   Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, New York
Tolulope Olorunsogo
1   Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, New York
Samantha DeSilva
2   Division of Pediatrics, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Cupecoy, Sint Maarten
Meriam Avades
1   Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, New York
Olaseni Prince
1   Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, New York
Pratibha Ankola
1   Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, New York
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Objective This study aimed to assess the association between neonatal antibiotic exposure and the risk of childhood obesity.

Study Design This retrospective cohort study enrolled neonates born between 2011 and 2015 and followed up until 5 years. The incidence of obesity at 5 years old, and other characteristics were compared between the antibiotic-exposed and unexposed groups. Chi-square test was conducted on categorical variables and Student's t-test for normally distributed continuous variable. Significant variables (p < 0.05) in bivariate analysis were modelled in a stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis to ascertain independent predictors of obesity at 5 years.

Results Of the 1,447 subjects, 749 (51.8%) received ampicillin and gentamicin, and 333 (23%) were obese. Neonates exposed to antibiotics were more likely to be obese compared with those unexposed (26 vs. 20%, p = 0.01). In the adjusted model, this association persisted (adjusted odds ratio: 1.37, p = 0.02).

Conclusion Neonatal antibiotic exposure is associated with early childhood obesity and may play a significant role in the weight trajectories of these children. Hence, antibiotic stewardship in this period cannot be overemphasized.

Key Points

  • Findings from our study showed that neonatal antibiotic exposure is associated with early childhood obesity.

  • The prevalence of childhood obesity at 5 years is high (23%).

  • Further exploration of the role of antibiotics on the gut microbiome and its effect on weight trajectories is needed.

Ethics Approval and Consent to Participate

This retrospective cohort study was approved by the BronxCare Health System Institutional Review Board (approval number: 01142111).

Availability of Data and Materials

The datasets utilized in the manuscript are available by request.

Authors' Contributions

A.A. conceptualization, data management, and statistical analysis, manuscript writing, and editing. A.P.T. conceptualization, data extraction, manuscript writing, and editing. M.A.A.G. conceptualization, data extraction, and manuscript editing. N.M. conceptualization, data extraction, and manuscript editing. T.O. data extraction and manuscript editing, S.D. data extraction and manuscript editing. M.A. manuscript writing and editing. O.P. manuscript writing and editing. A.P. conceptualization, supervision of project, manuscript editing.

Publication History

Received: 13 March 2023

Accepted: 10 August 2023

Article published online:
15 September 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

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