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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Can Anthropometric Measures and Prevalence Trends Tell Us About Adolescents with Celiac Disease?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Can body metrics and rate data help us better understand adolescents with celiac disease? Photo: CC--Wellness GM

    Celiac.com 01/04/2017 - A team of researchers recently set out to investigate the impact of celiac disease diagnosis on anthropometric measures at late adolescence, and to assess trends in the prevalence of diagnosed celiac disease over time.

    The research team included Amit Assa, Yael Frenkel-Nir, Ya'ara Leibovici-Weissman, Dorit Tzur, Arnon Afek, Lior H Katz, Zohar Levi, and Raanan Shamir. They are variously affiliated with the Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Disease, Schneider Children's Medical Center, Petach Tikva, Israel, the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces, Ramat-Gan, Israel, the Institute of Gastroenterology, Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus, Petach Tikva, Israel, and with the Ministry of Health in Jerusalem, Israel.

    Around 17 years of age, most of the Israeli Jewish population undergoes a general health examination, before enlistment in the Defense Forces. Individual medical information, diagnoses, etc., are entered into a structured database. For their population based study, the research team reviewed the enlistment data base for celiac disease cases between the years 1988 and 2015.

    In all, the team reviewed the medical records of 2,001,353 individuals, focusing on body measurements and physical health at the age of 17 years.

    Overall, they found and assessed 10,566 cases of celiac disease (0.53%). Multivariable analysis showed that adolescent boys with celiac disease were leaner (Body Mass Index 21.2±3.7 vs 21.7±3.8, p=0.02), while girls with celiac disease were shorter (161.5±6 cm vs 162.1±6 cm, p=0.017) than the general population.

    The prevalence of diagnosed celiac disease increased from 0.5% to 1.1% in the last 20 years, mainly among females, who saw a rise of 0.64% vs 0.46% for males. Celiac disease rates were far lower in people of lower socioeconomic status, and those of African, Asian and former Soviet Union origin.

    However, the clinical relevance of the small differences suggests that when celiac disease is diagnosed during childhood, final weight and height are not severely impaired.

    The team's cohort supports an observed rise in celiac disease diagnoses in the last couple of decades.

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    Guest Rebecca acaatellano

    Posted

    This is exactly how my son Luke was diagnosed at 12. For years he was off the growth chart with doctors scratching their heads. They thought it was a growth hormone issue. Thankfully a doctor finally asked if he was ever tested for celiac? Bingo!

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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