Celliac disease common in children with T1DM

By Lisa Foster-McNulty, MSN, RN, CDE



From the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Maria E. Craig, M.B.B.S., PhD and her colleagues looked at the international differences in the prevalence of celiac disease.  They also examined the clinical characteristics of youth who had both Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, as compared to kids who only had a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.  They gathered data on 52,721 patients who were up to 18 years of age and who had a clinic visit between April 2013 and March 2014. 

Celiac disease, confirmed by biopsy, was found in 3.5% of the patients, and the average age of diagnosis was 8.1 years. 
Within the T1D Exchange Clinical Network (US) and Australasian Diabetes Data Network (Australia), the prevalence of celiac disease varied from 1.9 to 7.7 percent, respectively.

For those with celiac disease and Type 1 diabetes compared to those with Type 1 diabetes only, the age at diabetes diagnosis was younger for those with both conditions–5.4 years versus 7.0 years old.  Fewer youth with co-existing celiac disease were non-white–15% versus 18%.  Children with celiac disease had a lower score in height standard deviation, and fewer were overweight or obese.  Between the two groups, A1c levels were comparable. 

International variation in diagnostic practices and screening may be the reason for differences in the prevalence of celiac disease, according to the study authors.  While this research didn’t find a difference in levels of blood glucose control, the lower score for height standard deviation indicates a need to closely monitor growth and nutrition with these children.