Photo: CC--Sage Ross 07/08/2016 - If their symptoms don't get worse, many patients diagnosed with celiac disease as children do not pursue follow-up care as adults, according to data presented at Digestive Disease Week 2016.

There's been some really good stuff coming out of Digestive Disease Week 2016 in San Diego. One example is a talk given by Norelle Reilly, MD, from the division of pediatric gastroenterology and the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

According to data presented by Dr. Reilly many patients diagnosed with celiac disease as children do not pursue follow-up gastroenterology care as adults, unless symptoms worsen.

Reilly and colleagues sent a 33-question survey to nearly 8,000 recipients via the medical center's proprietary distribution list and received 98 qualified responses.

According to Reilly, 37% of respondents said they were not seeking ongoing care for celiac disease. These respondents reported an average of 2 to 5 years, and sometimes as many as 10 years, between doctor visits for their celiac disease. Compare that with an average of six months between doctor visits for people who were getting regular care.

Large numbers of patients diagnosed with celiac disease in childhood do not seek follow-up care as adults, especially those diagnosed earlier in childhood, who may have fewer ongoing symptoms, Reilly said.Â

She ended her talk by asking "providers caring for children and adolescents with celiac disease [to] educate early as to the importance of ongoing care, emphasize the importance of follow-up and the reasons for follow-up, particularly with patients who lack symptoms and may not seek care otherwise and to provide a referral, and formally transition the patient to adult care to improve compliance."

Reference: Reilly N, et al. Abstract #35. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; May 21-24, 2016; San Diego.

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