Celiac.com 08/30/2011 - In a first of its kind study, a team of researchers is attempting a global estimate of the burden of celiac disease in childhood, and to to determine what role childhood celiac disease might play in global mortality due to diarrhea.

The research team included Peter Byass, Kathleen Kahn, and Anneli Ivarsson. They are affiliated with the Umeå Centre for Global Health Research, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden, and with the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In the last several decades, celiac disease has become an an increasingly recognized public health problem. More recently, celiac disease has emerged as a global earth issue, in spite scant globally representative epidemiological data.

Because children with celiac disease often have chronic diarrhea and malnutrition, a proper diagnosis is often missed, especially in poorer settings, where water-borne infectious diarrheas are common, and many children fail to thrive.