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Age When Kids First Eat Gluten Not a Factor in Celiac Disease

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.

Photo: CC--Filin IliaThe 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.

They are variously affiliated with the Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden; the Pediatrics Epidemiology Center at the Department of Pediatrics of the Morsani College of Medicine at University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida; the Digestive Health Institute at the University of Colorado, Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver; the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado in Aurora, Colorado; the Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado at Denver in Aurora, Colorado; the Institute of Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München, and Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, and Forschergruppe Diabetes e.V., Neuherberg, Germany; The Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia; Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland; the Department of Physiology and Pediatrics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; the National Institutes for Health and Welfare, Nutrition Unit, Helsinki, Finland; the School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; and the Research Center for Child Health at Tampere University and University Hospital and the Science Center of Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland.

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.

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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.

TEDDY, is one of several recent studies that confirm that the age at first gluten introduction was not an independent risk factor for developing celiac disease.

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1 Response:

 
Altinoy Kamilova
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said this on
24 Feb 2015 9:12:24 AM PDT
Very interesting information. It differs from previous studies. This question is very interested in parents of children with celiac disease when planning pregnancy.




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It took me 20 years or more Barry so I wouldn't claim any great insight on this I had a 'eureka' moment, up until then I was walking around with multiple symptoms and not connecting any dots whatsoever. It is very, very difficult to diagnose and that's something that's reflected in so many of the experiences detailed here. A food diary may help in your case. It helped me to connect the gaps between eating and onset. It could help you to track any gluten sources should you go gluten free. It is possible for your reactions to change over time. As to whether its celiac, that's something you could explore with your doctor, stay on gluten if you choose to go that way. best of luck! Matt

I took Zoloft once. Loved it until it triggered microscopic colitis (colonoscopy diagnosed it). Lexapro did the same. However, I have a family member who is fiagnosed celiac and tolerates Celexa well.

Thanks for the update and welcome to the club you never wanted to join! ?

Jmg, I am glad you were able to come to the realisation that the culprit was in fact gluten. For me its not so simple. IBS runs in the family, as do several food intolerances. Its just in the last while that I can finally reach the conclusion that for me its gluten. The fact that it is a delayed effect-several hours after, made it harder. Friday I had some KFC, felt great. Saturday evening felt sleepy, Sunday felt awful and my belly was huge. I think I have gone from mildly sensitive to full blown celiac over the course of five years-if that possible. Thanks for all your help.

I thought I'd take a moment to provide an update, given how much lurking I've done on these forums the last year. It took a long time, but I've since had another gastroenterologist visit, many months of eating tons of bread, and an endoscopy where they took several biopsies. I have to say, the endoscopy was a super quick and efficient experience. During the procedure they let me know that it looked somewhat suspicious, causing them to take many biopsies, and then did comprehensive blood work. About a month later, I received a call telling me that the TTG came back positive a second time, and that the biopsies were a mix of negative (normal) results and some that were positive (showing blunting of the villi). As a result, I've been given a celiac diagnosis. It's been about a month now that I've been eating gluten free. Not sure if I'm really feeling all that different yet. It's a bit twisted to say, but in some way I was hoping for this diagnosis ? thinking how nice it would be to have an explanation, a plan of action, and feeling better. It's certainly no small change to be totally gluten free, but I'm hopeful.