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Pediatric Coeliac Disease Cases Doubled in 25 Years

Researchers in Italy conducted a screening programme of 7,760 children aged from five to 11 in eight provinces of Italy with a finger-tip blood test for Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) gene mutations and then diagnosis is confirmed using the ESPGHAN (European Society for Pediatric, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) criteria reveals the number of cases in school children were doubled compared to a similar study by the same group 25 years ago.

‘Mass screening of school age children for coeliac disease is an effective tool for early diagnosis.’


Lead author of the CELI SCREEN multi-center trial, Prof. Elena Lionetti, says the study showed that screening in childhood leads to more cases of coeliac disease being diagnosed than in standard care (where children are tested if they present with symptoms, or are screened because of a family history of the disease).

This study shows that screening with non-invasive screening tests is an effective tool for diagnosing coeliac disease in children at an earlier stage helps in diagnosis and avoiding gluten will potentially prevent damage to the villi (finger-like projections that line the gut) that leads to malabsorption of nutrients and long-term conditions such as growth problems, fatigue and osteoporosis (a fragile bone condition).

Source: Medindia

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