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Acta Paediatr Suppl. 1996 May;412:65-7.

Dietary compliance in screening-detected coeliac disease adolescents.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Ancona, Italy.


In 1992-94 we screened 6315 students for coeliac disease (CD) by testing antigliadin antibodies (AGA) as the first-level investigation. We found 28 biopsy-proven coeliac patients who were invited to start the gluten-free diet (GFD). The aim of this study was a clinical and laboratory follow-up in these screening-detected coeliac adolescents. Patients were 17 females and 11 males with a mean age at diagnosis of 12.8 +/- 1 years (range 11-4). Mean follow-up duration time was 23 +/- 7 months (range 9-37). Twenty-three of the 28 screening-detected coeliac patients came to the control visit, 3 refused the follow-up and 2 subjects were not found. Twelve patients (52.2%) stated that they never ate any gluten-containing food, while 11 of them (47.8%) reported occasional transgressions to the diet. GFD acceptance was reported as good (n = 6), moderate (n = 11) or low (n = 6). After starting the GFD, signs of improvement were seen in most patients, such as weight gain, increased height velocity and increased feeling of well-being. AGA (both IgG and IgA classes) and antiendomysium antibodies (AEA) were normal in 19 subjects, 2 cases had IgG-AGA and AEA positivity, 1 patient showed abnormal AGA and AEA levels, while isolated IgA-AGA positivity persisted in 1 case. This study shows that even silent CD cases can clinically benefit from the GFD. The consequences of occasional transgressions to the GFD remain unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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