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Celiac Disease Highly Prevalent at Birth--Detectable by 2-3 Years of Age

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 Jul;39(1):80-84

Celiac.com 04/10/2005 - A study by Spanish researchers has found that celiac disease is highly prevalent among Spanish children—at least 1 in 118 of them are born with it. The study looked at 830 healthy children born between October 1998 and December 1999 whose parents had enrolled them in an early diagnosis program. Of the 830 children who initially enrolled, 613 were screened for anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies at 1.5 years of age, and 484 were screened at 2.5 years of age. At 1.5 years none of the children screened positive for the antibodies, but by 2.5 years 9 tested positive, and 7 of those 9 also had positive follow-up intestinal biopsies.

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The researchers conclude that at least 1 in 118 Spanish children are born with celiac disease, which is comparable to that found in other European populations—but the incidence determined in this study might actually have been higher had all of the children who participated in the initial 1.5 year old screening returned a year later for the second screening. The authors stop short of making a recommendation for a general screening of all Spanish children for celiac disease, and instead define the best timing for such a screening: 2-3 years of age.

This study indirectly highlights just how many celiac disease diagnoses are missed--most people with celiac disease are still never diagnosed and must live with the disease and its associated problems for life. Those who finally get a diagnosis often spend years suffering before it is figured out. Many get lymphoma and die--which is why we must continue to advocate for celiac disease screenings for the general population--perhaps starting as early as 2-3 years of age.

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The only symptom I know of that is celiac for certain is dh, which must be diagnosed by a dermatologist.

I have both eoe and celiac and now that I have been gluten free for 18 months, my anemia is gone. It is good to get off the iron supliments because mine may have been the cause of my ulcers. It feels good to recover and heal! I may work my way down to fewer supliments and lots of feel great da...

Your daughter does not have a strong positive. I suspect that the GI might do as RMJ suggested which would be to load her up on gluten for six months and retest. On the other hand, with a diagnosed sibling and a very mild positive, your GI might recommend the endoscopy or run the test again to ...

I was diagnosed with celiac last year on an endoscopy looking for the cause of my anemia. At the time, my GI doc tested m for EoE and it was negative. Fast forward 11 months, I developed sudden heart burn, dysphagia out of the blue. My doc thinks it's EoE. Biopsy was last week and I am still wait...

No, the control test is to verify that she will react to that particular type of test. If she didn't, then certain of the bloods would not be applicable to her. They would be false negatives. As far as tests being weak positives, that's like being a little pregnant. A positive is a positive....