Celiac.com 01/05/2010 - Researchers have found that celiac disease often precedes Type 1 diabetes in children with both conditions, and that up to 10% of children with Type 1 have clinical celiac disease, according to findings presented at Gastro 2009 in London, UK by T. Hansson of Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.
“The presence of autoantibodies against tissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG) implies that celiac disease was present already at the time of Type 1 diabetes onset in all children having both diseases,” he said. “Hence, celiac disease may precede and cause Type 1 diabetes in children with both diseases.”
A team of researchers looked for anti-tTG in blood samples from 169 children with new-onset Type 1 diabetes, 88 siblings of the patients, and 96 age- and gender-matched controls.
A total of 21 patients with Type 1 diabetes, six siblings, and three controls showed elevated levels of anti-tTG.
The team confirmed celiac disease via intestinal biopsy in five children before Type 1 diabetes, and 12 children after onset. Interestingly, blood samples from all but one of the 12 showed elevated anti-tTG at time of Type 1 diabetes onset and the remaining child showed elevated levels within 6 months of onset.
From this, the research team concludes that 10.1% of children with Type 1 diabetes patients showed confirmed celiac disease, compared with 4.5% of siblings, all of whom were asymptomatic, and 2.1% of controls.
The researchers suggest that a "change in diet in individuals with genetic susceptibility may reduce the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes." They add that “all Type 1 diabetes children and their siblings should be routinely screened for celiac disease-related antibodies.”
Source: Gastro 2009, UEGW/WCOG; London, UK: 21–25 November