Celiac.com 06/08/2007 - This study shows that celiac disease is as common among British Columbians with Type 1 diabetes as it is in Europeans with Type 1 Diabetes.

The research team was made up of doctors P.M. Gillett, H.R. Gillett, D.M. Israel, D.L. Metzger, L. Stewart, J-P. Chanoine, H.J. Freeman.

The team looked at 233 children with Type1 diabetes. In a blind study, the children were screened for celiac disease using immunoglublin A endomysium antibody (EmA), and the Immunoglublin A tissue transglutaminase. Children with positive results were offered small bowel biopsies. For those confirmed with celiac disease, doctors recommended a gluten-free diet.

British Columbians with Type 1 Diabetes Get Celiac Disease at Rates Comparable to their European Counterparts

Nineteen children tested positive for EmA and showed elevated tTG levels. Of the 18 patients who agreed to biopsies, one was normal, three showed normal morphology with elevated Intraepithelial lymphocyte counts, and 14 biopsies showed morphological changes consistent with celiac disease.

9 of the 19 children who tested positive for EmA were asymptomatic. Seven patients showed only mildly elevated tTG levels. Of this second group, five refused biopsy and two showed normal biopsies.

In addition to the four known cases, the doctors uncovered at least 14 new cases of celiac disease. The total rate of biopsy confirmed celiac disease was 18 out of 233, or 7.7%. The doctors concluded that these results confirm that celiac disease is prevalent in pediatric type 1 diabetes.

The doctors say the study reinforces the importance of celiac screening for children with type 1 diabetes, and also the advisability of keeping an eye on tTg serology as part of determining the effects of and compliance to a gluten-free diet.

Participating Facilities
1. Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at British Columbias Childrens Hospital Vancouver, British Columbia.
2. Division of Endocrinology, British Columbias Childrens Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia.
3. Division of Gastroenterology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: Volume 29(4)October 1999p 495.

About the Author: Jefferson Adams is a freelance health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.

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