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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1993 Feb;16(2):168-71.

Down's syndrome and celiac disease.

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Hospital N. S. Aranzazu, San Sebastian, Spain.


The association between Down's syndrome (DS) and autoimmune diseases has long been recognized. However, its relationship to celiac disease (CD) has only recently been reported, and a clear-cut association remains to be fully established. We have studied the prevalence of CD in a random sample of 70 individuals with DS. IgA anti-gliadin antibodies (IgA AGAs) were determined in all and found to be positive in nine (13%). In eight, anti-endomysium antibodies (AEAs) were investigated, and jejunal biopsies were performed. AEAs were positive in two, and three had flat intestinal mucosa. The class I and II human leukocyte antigens of two patients with CD were determined. Results were as follows: A2/B8 B39/DR1 DR3/DQW1 DQW2 in one case and A2 A28/B44 B17/DR4 DR5/DQW3 in the other. This implies a 43% prevalence of CD in DS, which is well above that previously found by us in our population (0.62/1,000 live births). We conclude that the association between DS and CD is not fortuitous and suggest that the determination of such serologic markers as IgA AGA and AEA should be part of health assessment in DS patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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