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Nutrients. 2020 Jan 6;12(1). pii: E156. doi: 10.3390/nu12010156.

Changes in Age at Diagnosis and Nutritional Course of Celiac Disease in the Last Two Decades.

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Fellow, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, Clínica Alemana de Santiago, Chile.
Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Hospital Roberto del Río, Santiago, Chile.
Hospital Exequiel González Cortés, Santiago, Chile.
Hospital Luis Calvo Mackenna, Santiago, Chile.
Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.


The frequency of celiac disease (CD) has increased along time, with relevant changes reported in geographical variations, clinical presentation and nutritional repercussions. In recent years, some celiac patients are presenting overweight/obesity, but it is unclear how frequent this is and to what extent undernutrition remains a concern. This is relevant because CD tends to be overlooked in overweight patients. With this in mind, we assessed age at diagnosis, clinical characteristics and nutritional status of 155 celiac patients diagnosed between 1994-2017 in four pediatric hospitals in Santiago, Chile. Since 2003, the number of patients diagnosed has increased (p < 0.0033), coinciding with antitransglutaminase and antiendomysial antibodies becoming available to public health systems. In 2000, 4.5% of patients were asymptomatic at diagnosis, suggesting that active search is not routinely applied. Gastrointestinal symptoms plus failure to thrive were significantly more frequent under 2 years (p = 0.0001). Nutritional status has improved at diagnosis and during follow up, but undernutrition remains more frequent in children <2 and <5 years (p < 0.002 and p < 0.0036, respectively). Overweight at diagnosis was reported in 2002 and obesity in 2010. After initiating treatment, since 2010, patients changing from undernourishment to overweight has sometimes been observed after only 6 months on a gluten-free diet.


age; celiac disease; follow up; nutritional status

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