Send to

Choose Destination
QJM. 1994 Oct;87(10):631-7.

The prevalence of coeliac disease in adult diabetes mellitus.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, UK.


Coeliac disease occurs more commonly in children with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) than in the general population, but the prevalence of coeliac disease in adults with diabetes is unknown. We therefore screened an adult hospital-based diabetic population using IgA antigliadin antibody (IgA-AGA) to identify those patients requiring intestinal biopsy. In 1 year, 1789 patients (43% IDDM, 57% NIDDM) were screened, and 73 had raised IgA-AGA. Of these patients, 49 agreed to duodenal biopsy and 13 (10 IDDM) had coeliac disease. Selective IgA deficiency was found in eight patients, one of whom had coeliac disease. Of these 14 patients with newly diagnosed coeliac disease, four had microcytic anaemia, nine a low serum ferritin, and four a low albumin-corrected calcium. Eight patients had symptoms which improved on gluten withdrawal. Dietary compliance was maintained in 6/8 symptomatic patients, but only in 1/6 without symptoms. Included in the 1789 patients were four (all IDDM) with known coeliac disease. The overall prevalence of coeliac disease in adult patients with IDDM was 1:50 compared with 1:340 in NIDDM. Coeliac disease is common in adults with IDDM and may cause malabsorption and ill health. It should be suspected in any IDDM patient with gastrointestinal symptoms or unexplained anaemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center