Abdominal Pain-Associated Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder Prevalence in Children and Adolescents with Celiac Disease on Gluten-Free Diet: A Multinational Study

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Abstract

Objective

To test the hypothesis that children with celiac disease (CD) on gluten-free diet are at increased risk of abdominal pain (AP) associated-functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs).

Study design

This was a multinational cross-sectional study performed from 2014 to 2015. Patients 4-18 years of age with CD on gluten-free diet for longer than 6 months were recruited from pediatric CD clinics in US and Italy. Control groups included siblings of children with CD (with normal tissue transglutaminase levels) and unrelated controls. Subjects or parents completed the Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms-Rome III.

Results

Children (n = 289) were recruited (55% US, 45% Italy): 96 children with CD, 96 sibling controls, and 97 unrelated controls. Chronic AP was present in 30 (30.9%) subjects with CD, 22 (22.7%) sibling controls, and 21 (21.6%) unrelated controls (P = .26 patients with CD vs siblings; P = .18 patients with CD vs unrelated; P = .96 siblings vs unrelated). AP-FGIDs were present in 8 (8.2%) subjects with CD, 8 (8.2%) sibling controls, and 2 (2.1%) unrelated controls (P = 1.00 subjects with CD vs sibling controls; P = .06 subjects with CD vs unrelated controls; P = .06 sibling controls vs unrelated controls).

Conclusion

This multinational study evaluated the prevalence of chronic abdominal pain and AP-FGIDs in the pediatric population with CD. We found that subjects with CD and controls have a similar prevalence of chronic AP and AP-FGIDs. This suggests that not all types of gastrointestinal inflammation result in AP-FGIDs in children.

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