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Dig Dis Sci. 2003 Feb;48(2):395-8.

Changing presentation of adult celiac disease.

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Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, USA.


The mode of presentation of celiac disease in the United States is not known. We investigated the demographic and clinical features of 227 patients with biopsy-proven celiac disease and determined if there had been changes over time. The patients had been entered into a database; those seen prior to 1990 were retrospectively entered while those seen subsequently were prospectively entered. A "symptomatic" presentation described the "classical" presentation of celiac disease with prominent gastrointestinal symptoms: diarrhea and weight loss. Females were younger and had a longer duration of symptoms compared to males. The modes of presentation were symptomatic (62%), anemia or reduced bone density (15%), screening first-degree relatives (13%), and incidental diagnosis at endoscopy (8%). We compared those diagnosed before and after 1993 (when serologic testing was first used), and noted a reduction in those presenting with diarrhea, 73% vs 43% (P = 0.0001) and a reduction in the duration of symptoms, from 9.0 +/- 1.1 years to 4.4 +/- 0.6 years (P < 0001). In conclusion, the percentage of celiac disease patients presenting with diarrhea has decreased, probably related to the more widespread use of serologic testing for celiac disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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