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Dig Liver Dis. 2012 Oct;44(10):814-8. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2012.04.019. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life in screen-detected celiac disease.

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  • 1School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.



Active serological screening has proved an effective means of increasing the diagnostic rate in celiac disease. The effects of a long-term gluten-free diet on possible gastrointestinal symptoms and psychological well-being in screen-detected patients have nevertheless remained obscure.


Abdominal symptoms and quality of life were measured in a large cohort of treated screen-detected celiac adults. Comparisons were made with corresponding symptom-detected patients and with non-celiac controls. Dietary adherence was assessed both by structured interview and by serological testing.


In both screen- and symptom-detected celiac groups, 88% of the patients were adherent. On a diet, both screen- and symptom-detected patients reported significantly more gastrointestinal symptoms than non-celiac controls. Those screen-detected patients who reported having no symptoms at the time of diagnosis, also remained asymptomatic during the diet. Despite persistent symptoms, psychological well-being in screen-detected patients was comparable with that in non-celiac controls, whereas the symptom-detected patients showed lower quality of life.


Long-term treated screen-detected celiac patients, especially women, suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms on a gluten free diet similarly to symptom-detected patients. However, despite a similar frequency of persistent symptoms, the quality of life was unimpaired in the screen found, but remained low in the symptom-detected group.

Copyright © 2012 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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