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Acta Diabetol. 2003 Oct;40 Suppl 1:S171-3.

Body composition in coeliac disease adolescents on a gluten-free diet: a longitudinal study.

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Institute of Paediatrics, University of La Sapienza Policlinico "Umberto I", Viale Regina Elena 324, I-00161, Rome, Italy.


Our aim was to evaluate body composition in a group of coeliac disease adolescents on a gluten-free diet and to re-examine them at the end of the adolescence spurt. We studied 48 patients (group 1A), 30 age-matched healthy controls (group 2A), 11 group 1A patients after 4 years (group 1B) and 11 adolescents who were age- and sex-matched with group 1B (group 2B). Weight, height, bone mineral content, fat mass, fat-free mass (FFM) and bone mineral density were evaluated using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. All parameters were lower in group 1A than in group 2A subjects ( p<0.001). After 4 years, the body compartments of group 1B coeliac disease patients normalised, except for weight and FFM which remained lower than in group 2B subjects ( p<0.005). In conclusion, our study demonstrates that adolescence is a period where some parameters of body composition can still be recovered.

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