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Indian J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jun;31(3):116-20. doi: 10.1007/s12664-012-0198-9. Epub 2012 Jun 21.

Clinical presentation of celiac disease among pediatric compared to adolescent and adult patients.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160 012, India.



Celiac disease (CD) is being increasingly recognized in adults though a majority of patients continue to be diagnosed in childhood.


To compare the clinical presentation and profile of newly diagnosed pediatric and adolescent/adult CD patients.


Retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with CD between year 1997 and 2007 in the pediatric group, and between year 2000 and 2007 in the adolescent/adult group was done for clinical presentation, endoscopic findings and duodenal histology.


A total of 434 children and 298 adults were studied. The mean age of diagnosis was 6.5 ± 2.5 years (1-11 years) in children and 29.3 ± 13.3 years (6-73 years) in adolescent/adults. The mean duration of symptoms before diagnosis was 3.5 ± 2.5 years in children and 4.9 ± 4.6 years in the latter. Diarrhea as the presenting symptom was seen in 74 % of children and 58.7 % of adolescent/adults. Anemia (on investigations) was seen in 84 % of children and 94 % of adolescent/adults.


Pediatric patients of CD present more often with typical features than adults. Atypical presentations are more common in adults and the latent period for diagnosis is also longer in adolescent/adults. There is a need for increasing awareness about CD, both among pediatricians and physicians caring for adult patients.

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