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Arch Osteoporos. 2019 Mar 4;14(1):30. doi: 10.1007/s11657-018-0554-1.

Celiac disease and severe vitamin D deficiency: the case for anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody screening.

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Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, P.O Box 7805, Riyadh, 11472, Saudi Arabia.


Vitamin D-deficient Saudi adolescent girls were screened for anti-tissue transglutaminase (IgA-tTG) antibodies to determine whether the presence of severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with celiac disease. All 9 participants who were positive for IgA-tTG antibodies had severe vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 12.5 nmol/l), suggesting that this population should be screened for celiac disease.


The current cross-sectional study aimed to see if severe vitamin D deficiency is associated with celiac disease (CD) among Saudi adolescent girls.


A total 200 adolescent females aged 13-19 years old with vitamin D deficiency (serum 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l) were screened for IgA tTG (anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies).


Of the 200 girls, 9 (4.5%) were positive for IgA tTG antibodies; all of whom had serum 25(OH)D < 12.5 nmol/l. A strong significant inverse association was observed between tTG antibody levels and serum 25(OH)D (R = - 0.53; p < 0.001) among antibody negative participants. Finally, participants with positive IgA tTG antibodies was 37.2 times higher for participants with 25(OH)D < 12.5 nmol/l than those whose vitamin D status was higher [OR = 37.2 (95% CI 4.6-299.7) (p = 0.0002)].


The data suggests that CD maybe a risk factor for severe vitamin D deficiency and that patients presenting with very low levels of 25(OH)D of less than 12.5 nmol/l-in the absence of an obvious cause-may need to be screened for CD.


Adolescents; Celiac disease; Vitamin D deficiency


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