Prevalence of Celiac Disease in Children With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Increased in the Mid-1990s: An 18-year Longitudinal Study Based on Anti-endomysial Antibodies

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Between 1987 and 2004, 331 consecutive children, all newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus in our pediatric clinic, underwent repeated serological screening for celiac disease (CD) by means of anti-endomysial antibodies, measured prospectively between 1994 and 2004, and retrospectively, using frozen banked serum, between 1987 and 1993. There were 22 cases (6.6%) of biopsy-proven CD among the 331 diabetic children. The prevalence of CD was significantly (P = 0.015) higher after 1994 (10.6%) than before 1994 (3.3%). The rapid change in the risk of CD among Italian diabetic children that occurred in the mid-1990s could be related to changes in environmental factors, namely, eating habits and viral infections.

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