By Kelly Rohlfs

Celiac.com 09/29/2004 - The Childrens Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation (CDHNF) with the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) announced the launch of a new educational campaign on Celiac Disease, one of the most common genetic digestive conditions possibly affecting as many as three million Americans (up to 1 percent). Since it has been proven that early detection and intervention can prevent long-term consequences, CDHNF and NASPGHAN are focusing on accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment in children.

We plan to raise greater awareness about celiac disease and urge physicians to add it to their screening checklist, said Alessio Fasano M.D., chair of the CDHNF Celiac Disease Campaign, NIH Consensus speaker and director of the Mucosal Biology Research Center for the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Celiac Research. We now have the information we need on how to diagnose and treat this disease and we need to start applying that knowledge into practice.

To help spread the word, the campaign will include physician materials such as a celiac disease physician CME slide set, a nationwide Grand Rounds program, and a soon-to-be released NASPGHAN Clinical Practice Guideline on the Evaluation and Management of Celiac Disease in Children, in the fall of 2004. In addition, a new web site http://www.celiachealth.org will provide resources for the medical professional community and the general public.

They have put together a comprehensive slide set (Acrobat and PowerPoint) available on their website http://www.celiacfacts.org. Although somewhat specific for pediatricians and pediatric gastroenterologists, the material is applicable to all stages and ages of celiac disease. Topics include: Definition, Associated Conditions, Clinical Manifestations and Complications, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, Prevention, and Treatment.

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