Celiac.com 02/04/2015 - For kids with a predisposition to celiac disease, does the age at which they first eat gluten have any connection with their risk for celiac disease? A team of researchers wanted to figure out whether the age at which a child first eats gluten carried any associated with risk for celiac disease, for genetically predisposed children. The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) is a prospective birth cohort study.
The research team included Carin Andrén Aronsson, MSca, Hye-Seung Lee, PhD, Edwin Liu, MD, PhD, Ulla Uusitalo, PhD, Sandra Hummel, PhD, Jimin Yang, PhD, RD, Michael Hummel, MD, PhD, Marian Rewers, MD, PhD, Jin-Xiong She, PhD, Olli Simell, MD, PhD, Jorma Toppari, MD, PhD, Anette-G. Ziegler, MD, PhD, Jeffrey Krischer, PhD, Suvi M. Virtanen, MD, PhD, Jill M. Norris, MPH, PhD, and Daniel Agardh, MD, PhD, for the The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) Study Group.
For their study, the team followed up on 6,436 newborn infants who had been screened for high-risk HLA-genotypes for celiac disease in Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the United States.
At clinical visits every third month, the team collected information about infant feeding.
The first outcome was persistent positive for tissue transglutaminase autoantibodies (tTGA), the marker for celiac disease.
The second outcome was celiac disease, defined as either a diagnosis based on intestinal biopsy results, or as persistently high levels of tTGA.
The team found that Swedish children consumed their first gluten at an earlier age, 21.7 weeks on average, compared with 26.1 weeks for children from Finland, and just over 30 weeks for kids from Germany, and the United States (P < .0001).
Over about a follow-up period ranging from 1.7–8.8 years, but averaging about five years, the team found that 773 (12%) children developed tTGA and 307 (5%) developed celiac disease.
Compared with US children, Swedish children saw an increased risk for tTGA, with a hazard ratio of 1.74 [95% CI: 1.47–2.06]) and celiac disease, with a hazard ratio of 1.76 [95% CI: 1.34–2.24]), respectively (P < .0001).
Gluten introduction before kids turn 17 weeks or after 26 weeks was not associated with increased risk for tTGA or celiac disease, adjusted for country, HLA, gender, and family history of celiac disease, neither in the overall analysis nor on a country-level comparison.