Celiac.com 10/13/2009 - The standard method of measuring successful observance of a gluten-free diet in patients with celiac disease is through a dietary interview performed by health professional. However, there is currently have no simple, objective method for conducting such a dietary interview.

To address this discrepancy, a team of researchers recently designed an easy, quick questionnaire based on four simple questions which yield a five-level score (0–IV). The score provides the test individual with an indication of their compliance level.

The research team was made up of Federico Biagi, Alida Andrealli, Paola Ilaria Bianchi, Alessandra Marchese, Catherine Klersy, and Gino Roberto Corazza.

The team recently set out to assess the accuracy of the questionnaire. They ran the questions past 168 celiac patients, 126 females and 42 males, with a median age of 42·4 (SD 12·9) years. All subjects were allegedly following a gluten-free diet (median 82, 25th–75th percentile 50–108, range 15–389 months).

They compared the resulting scores with the persistence of both villous atrophy and endomysial antibodies while on a gluten-free diet.  They also compared patient survival rates. Non-expert personnel interviewed patients by telephone.

The questionnaire took less than one minute to complete. The lowest results were markedly more common among the patients with a persistence of both villous atrophy and positive endomysial antibodies. Those patients also had significantly higher rates of death overall.

From these results, the researchers conclude that the questionnaire offers a simple, accurate way to verify compliance with a gluten-free diet for patients with celiac disease.

Source:
British Journal of Nutrition (2009), 102, 882–887

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