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Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2019 Mar 12. doi: 10.17235/reed.2019.5251/2017. [Epub ahead of print]

Excess weight and gastrointestinal symptoms in Chilean celiac patients at the time of diagnosis.

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Departamento de Nutrición, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile.
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.



celiac disease is an immune condition that results in histologic changes in the small bowel and produces both digestive and extra-digestive symptoms. Intestinal damage results in malabsorption and impaired weight or impaired optimal weight gain. However, these patients may be overweight or obese in spite of histologic damage. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of excess weight in newly diagnosed (adult) celiac patients.


this was a retrospective observational study of patients recently diagnosed with celiac disease according to the standard Marsh classification. Nutritional status was assessed based on body mass index (BMI), as categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Clinical presentation was classified as typical or atypical. Potential differences in gastrointestinal symptoms according to nutritional status were also assessed.


a total of 135 medical records of adult celiac patients (women = 123; men = 12) were reviewed. The average weight and BMI were 61.1 kg and 23.7 kg/m2, respectively. The proportion of typical clinical presentations was 59.2% and of atypical presentations 40.8%. A total of 71.8% of patients had a BMI indicating low or normal weight and 28.1% had a BMI indicative of being overweight or obese. No differences with regard to the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms were found according to nutritional status.


further studies are needed to jointly assess energy intake and intestinal absorption in these patients, in order to explain the high rate of excess weight.

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