Celiac.com 07/10/2007 - Studies have shown children with Type 1 diabetes to have a greater risk of developing celiac disease. A study published recently in Diabetes Care shows that people with celiac disease who follow a strict gluten-free diet frequently have inferior body composition and nutritional uptake compared to healthy people without celiac disease.

Faced with a shortage of solid data on the exact nature of the levels at which children with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing celiac disease, a Swedish research team set out to review the Swedish national inpatient registry for the years 1964 to 2003. The research team was made up of Anders Ekbom, Michael Fored, Jonas F. Ludvigsson, Johnny Ludvigsson, Nders Ekbom, Ola Ole, & Scott M. Montgomery. They looked at data for patients with celiac disease who are following a strict gluten-free diet, and who were in full clinical, biochemical, and histological remission. They looked at data from 45,680 patients. Children with a one year follow-up after entering the study were added to the final results.

Celiac Disease in Children Linked to Type-1 Diabetes

The results showed that children with celiac disease face an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes before the age of 20 (hazard ratio 2.4 [95% CI 1.9 –3.0], P 0.001). Children with celiac disease also faced an increased risk of ketaocidosis or diabetic coma before the age of 20 (2.3 [1.4 –3.9], P 0.001).

This increase showed up without regard to the age at diagnosis [those diagnosed between 0 and 2 (2.2 [1.7–2.9], P 0.001) or 3 and 20 (3.4 [1.9 – 6.1], P 0.001) years of age.]

Given that 95% of individuals with celiac disease are HLA-DQ2 positive, these increased risk levels were comparatively low, though still significant.

Diabetes Care. 2006 Nov;29(11):2483-8.

health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.

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