Task force says more evidence needed to support open screening for celiac disease. Photo: CC--Justin Watt

Celiac.com 08/15/2016 - On May 3rd, 2016, as part of an ongoing effort to learn more about celiac disease, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its first-ever draft recommendation statement, and draft evidence review.

The statement basically says that there just isn't enough evidence to adequately weigh the benefits and harms of celiac disease screening in asymptomatic patients.

This is an "I" recommendation that does not apply to patients with symptoms of celiac disease such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss.

They basically call for "[m]ore evidence on screening for celiac disease…before the task force can recommend for or against screening people who don't have any signs or symptoms of the condition," said USPSTF member Alex Krist, M.D., M.P.H., in a news release. "In the face of unclear evidence, physicians should use their clinical judgment when deciding whom to screen," Krist added.

The USPSTF pointed out that their future recommendations for screening patients would benefit from research into:

  1. The effectiveness of targeted screening in patients at increased risk for celiac disease
  2. The accuracy of serological markers in asymptomatic patients, particularly those with risk factors
  3. The effect of treatment of celiac disease in asymptomatic patients who have positive blood tests for celiac disease, and
  4. The clinical outcomes such as changes in health and quality of life in people who are screened versus people who are not screened

Read more at: AAFP.ORG.

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