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Autoimmune Dis. 2014;2014:417356. doi: 10.1155/2014/417356. Epub 2014 Jan 27.

Prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity in children with celiac disease compared to healthy 12-year olds.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Clinical Sciences, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, 205 02 Lund, Sweden.
2
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, 905 85 Umeå, Sweden.
3
Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, 581 85 Linköping, Sweden ; Department of Pediatrics in Norrköping, County Council of Östergötland, 603 79 Norrköping, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Studies have suggested a correlation between untreated celiac disease and risk for other autoimmune diseases. We investigated the prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity in 12-year-old children (i) with symptomatic celiac disease diagnosed and treated with a gluten-free diet, (ii) with screening-detected untreated celiac disease, and (iii) without celiac disease.

METHODS:

Blood samples from 12632 children were collected. All celiac disease cases, previously diagnosed and newly screening-detected, were identified. Per case, 4 referents were matched. Blood samples were analyzed for autoantibodies against thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb). The cut-off value for TPO positivity was set to 100 U/mL.

RESULTS:

Altogether, 335 celiac disease cases were found. In the entire celiac disease group, 7.2% (24/335) had elevated titers of TPOAb compared to 2.8% (48/1695) of the referents. Among the previously diagnosed celiac disease cases, 7.5% (7/93, OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.2-6.4) was TPOAb positive and among screening-detected cases, 7.0% (17/242, OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.5-4.6) was TPOAb positive.

CONCLUSION:

Children with celiac disease showed a higher prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity. We could not confirm the hypothesis that untreated celiac disease is associated with increased risk of developing thyroid autoimmunity. Early initiation of celiac disease treatment might not lower the risk for other autoimmune diseases.

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