The National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) supports observational and clinical research using healthcare data. The PCORnet Antibiotics and Childhood Growth Study is one of PCORnet's inaugural observational studies. The objectives of this manuscript are to describe (1) the processes used to integrate and analyze data from children across 36 participating institutions and (2) the cohort characteristics and prevalence of antibiotic use.
We included children in the cohort if they had at least one same-day height and weight measured in each of three age periods: 1) before 12 months, 2) 12 to 30 months, and 3) after 24 months. We distributed statistical queries that each institution ran on its local version of the PCORnet Common Data Model, with aggregate data returned for analysis. We defined overweight or obesity as age-sex-specific body mass index ≥ 85, obesity ≥95percentile, and severe obesity ≥120% of the 95percentile.
681,739 children met the cohort inclusion criteria and were racially/ethnically diverse (24.9% black, 17.5% Hispanic). Before 24 months, 55.2% of children received at least one antibiotic prescription; 21.3% received a single antibiotic prescription, 14.3% received four or more, and 33.3% received a broad spectrum antibiotic. Overweight and obesity prevalence was 27.6% at 4 to <6 years of age (n=362,044) and 36.2% at 9 to <11 years (n=58,344).
The PCORnet Antibiotics study is a large, national longitudinal observational study in a diverse population that will examine the relationship between early antibiotic use and subsequent growth patterns in children.