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Am J Gastroenterol. 1996 Apr;91(4):718-22.

Celiac disease and pregnancy outcome.

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  • 1Gastroenterology, Medical School, Naples University "Federico II," Italy.



This study investigated the effect of gluten-free diet on pregnancy outcome and lactation in 125 women affected with celiac disease.


The study has been designed as a case-control study and a before-after study.


In the case-control study, comparison of 94 untreated with 31 treated celiac women indicated that the relative risk of abortion was 8.90 times higher (95% confidence limits: 1.19/66.3), the relative risk of low birth weight baby was 5.84 times higher (90% confidence limits: 1.07/31.9), and duration of breast feeding was 2.54 times shorter (p < 0.001) in untreated mothers. Abortion, low birth weight of baby, and duration of breast feeding did not significantly relate to the severity of celiac disease among untreated women. In the before-after study, 12 pregnant celiac women in either treated or untreated condition were compared. Results indicated that the gluten-free diet reduced the relative risk of abortion by 9.18 times (95% confidence limits: 1.05/79.9), reduced the number of low birth weight babies from 29.4% down to zero (p < 0.05), and increased duration of breast feeding 2.38 times (p < 0.10). Both case-control and before-after studies indicated that threatened abortion and premature delivery did not significantly relate to treatment of celiac disease.


The high incidence of abortion, of low birth weight babies, and of short breast-feeding periods is effectively corrected by gluten-free diet in women with celiac disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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