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Hum Reprod. 1999 Nov;14(11):2759-61.

The prevalence of coeliac disease in infertility.

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Clinica Pediatrica 'A. Filia', Università di Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Clinica Ostetrica e Ginecologica, Università di Sassari, Sassari, and Ospedale 'S. Giovanni di Dio', 07026 Olbia, Italy.


An increased incidence of reproductive problems, including infertility, miscarriage, low birth weight newborns, and shorter duration of breast-feeding, are known to exist in women with coeliac disease; some of these conditions are improved by a gluten-free diet. We have tried to ascertain the prevalence of coeliac disease in 99 couples who were being evaluated for infertility, compared with the known prevalence of silent disease in the population of Northern Sardinia, in which it is endemic. Of all women, four tested positive for at least two out of three markers: immunoglobulin A (IgA) antigliadin, immunoglobulin (IgG) antigliadin, and anti-endomysium antibodies, and underwent a jejunal biopsy; three had histological evidence of coeliac disease. One male partner was positive for two markers, and had a diagnostic jejunal biopsy. The prevalence of coeliac disease in infertile women seems higher (three out of 99, 3. 03%) in the study group than in the general population (17 out of 1607, 1.06%), and particularly in the subgroup with unexplained infertility (two out of 25, 8%, P < 0.03). Screening for coeliac disease should be part of the diagnostic work-up of infertile women, particularly when no apparent cause can be ascertained after standard evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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