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Indian J Gastroenterol. 2019 Jun 28. doi: 10.1007/s12664-019-00958-3. [Epub ahead of print]

Celiac disease: What the Indian pediatricians know about the disease.

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Department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Jammu and Kashmir, Bemina, Srinagar 190 010, India.
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi 110 076, India.
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi 110 076, India.


To ascertain the knowledge, awareness, and practices pertaining to celiac disease (CD) among the Indian pediatricians. A survey link containing a questionnaire was shared through electronic mail using a pediatric database. The survey was kept active for 6 months; all responses received at the end of the survey were analyzed. Two hundred and seventy one pediatricians out of more than 10,000 chose to respond to the survey. Most pediatricians agreed that more patients with CD are being diagnosed than earlier. The reasons for higher detection of CD were perceived to be higher index of clinical suspicion by pediatricians (86.7%) followed by increased awareness among parents (45.8%). Most pediatricians opined that clinical manifestations which prompted to a diagnosis of CD were failure to thrive (96.2%) and chronic diarrhea (81.4%). Knowledge about atypical manifestations of celiac disease was low.  Though knowledge about the common association of CD with type 1 diabetes (62.1%) and autoimmune hepatitis (55.8%) was there, awareness about its association with other uncommon conditions was lacking. Though 68% of the pediatricians were of the opinion that the confirmation of diagnosis by a mucosal biopsy is necessary, 26.5% of respondents believed that only a positive serology was sufficient for a diagnosis. A trial of gluten-free diet (GFD) was thought to be a logical step if serology was positive by 31.3% of respondents. While 87.7% of pediatricians advocated lifelong adherence to GFD, 12.3% felt that GFD could be discontinued in the future. This web-based survey revealed that though pediatricians are seeing increasing number of celiac disease patients, there is a need to increase awareness regarding the disease, its associated conditions, the need for mucosal biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and the necessity of lifelong adherence to GFD.


Chronic diarrhea; Enteropathy; Gluten-free diet; Malabsorption; Wheat allergy


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