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Younger Age at Onset and Sex Predict Celiac Disease in Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes Care 2004;27:1294-1298.

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Celiac.com 11/29/2004 - In an effort to determine the prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease in Italian children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes, and to determine whether age at onset of diabetes is independently associated with the diagnosis of celiac disease, Dr. Franco Cerutti and colleagues at the Universita di Torino, Italy looked at 4,322 children and adolescents (4-11 years old) who had type 1 diabetes. Yearly celiac disease screening was performed on them by using IgA/IgG anti-gliadin and IgA anti-endomysium antibodies, and those with positive antibody results were given a biopsy for confirmation. Out of 4,322 children screened 292 or 6.8% had celiac disease. In 89% of cases diabetes was diagnosed before celiac disease. Using logistic regression analyses the researchers determined that those diagnosed with diabetes at a younger age, those who are female, and those with a thyroid disorder are independently associated with the risk of having both diabetes and celiac disease.

The researchers conclude: "We have provided evidence that 1) the prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes is high (6.8%); 2) the risk of having both diseases is threefold higher in children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age <4 years than in those age >9 years; and 3) girls have a higher risk of having both diseases than boys."

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