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Nutrients. 2017 Jul 19;9(7). pii: E771. doi: 10.3390/nu9070771.

Self-Reported Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity in High School Students: Demographic and Clinical Characteristics.

Author information

1
Internal Medicine, Dipartimento di Biologia e Medicina Interna e Specialistica, University of Palermo, 90133 Palermo, Italy. antonio.carroccio@unipa.it.
2
Internal Medicine Department, Giovanni Paolo II Hospital, 92019 Sciacca, Italy. antonio.carroccio@unipa.it.
3
Department of Economics, Management and Statistics, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy. ornella.giambalvo@unipa.it.
4
Dipartimento di Biologia e Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Division of Internal Medicine, Policlinico University Hospital, 90127 Palermo, Italy. francescolablasca@gmail.com.
5
Dipartimento di Biologia e Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Division of Internal Medicine, Policlinico University Hospital, 90127 Palermo, Italy. iacobuccirosario@gmail.com.
6
Dipartimento di Biologia e Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Division of Internal Medicine, Policlinico University Hospital, 90127 Palermo, Italy. adalcamo@hotmail.it.
7
Dipartimento di Biologia e Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Division of Internal Medicine, Policlinico University Hospital, 90127 Palermo, Italy. pasquale.mansueto@unipa.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity (NCWS) has recently been included among the gluten-related disorders. As no biomarkers of this disease exist, its frequency has been estimated based on self-reported symptoms, but to date no data are available about self-reported NCWS in teenagers.

AIM:

To explore the prevalence of self-reported NCWS in a group of high school students and to study their demographic and clinical characteristics.

METHODS:

The study was performed between April 2015 and January 2016 in two high schools of a coastal town in the south of Sicily (Italy). A total of 555 students (mean age 17 years, 191 male, 364 female) completed a modified validated questionnaire for self-reported NCWS. The subjects who self-reported NCWS were then compared with all the others.

RESULTS:

Seven individuals (1.26%) had an established diagnosis of CD. The prevalence of self-reported NCWS was 12.2%, and 2.9% were following a gluten-free diet (GFD). Only 15 out of 68 (23%) NCWS self-reporters had consulted a doctor for this problem and only nine (14%) had undergone serological tests for celiac disease. The NCWS self-reporters very often had IBS symptoms (44%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Self-reported NCWS was found to be common in teenagers, with a frequency of 12.2%; the frequency of GFD use was 2.9%, which was much higher than the percentage of known CD in the same population (1.26%). A greater awareness of the possible implications on the part of the subjects involved, and a more thorough medical approach to the study of self-reported wheat-induced symptoms are required.

KEYWORDS:

IBS; epidemiology; food allergy; non-celiac gluten-sensitivity; prevalence; self-reported non-celiac wheat sensitivity; teenagers

PMID:
28753927
PMCID:
PMC5537885
DOI:
10.3390/nu9070771
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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