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Untreated Celiac Disease not Associated with Poor Birth Outcome

Gut. 2004 Jan;53(1):149-51

Celiac.com 12/31/2003 – Italian researchers report in the journal Gut that their previous hypothesis which was based on their hospital study that reported a 1 in 80 incidence of celiac disease in pregnant women and an unfavorable pregnancy outcome for them needs to be revised. With the goal of proving their initial research the group conducted a "large population based study on a stratified sample from the whole Campania region" in Italy. The study looked at 5,055 pregnant women and tested them for IgA class anti-tissue transglutaminase (TGASE) antibodies using the ELISA method. In addition "Endomysial antibodies (EMA) were investigated on thin sections of human cord blood by an immunofluorescence test. The HLA class II DQA1*0501/DQB1*02 and DQA1*0301/DQB1*0302 haplotypes were assessed using the Eurospital Eu-DQ kit."

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The researchers found that 51 of the 5,055 patients tested positive for celiac disease, and 12 women with known celiac disease were added to the results which yielded a ratio of 1 in 80 pregnant women with celiac disease, results that matched the groups first study. When the celiac-positive groups birth outcomes were compared with the normal group the researchers did "not observe an excess risk of abortion, premature delivery, small birth weight, or intrauterine growth retardation," although anemia was more frequent in the celiac disease group.

The researchers conclude that "undiagnosed coeliac disease is frequent among pregnant women (>1%) but is not associated with an unfavorable outcome of pregnancy."

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