Screening for Celiac Disease: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

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Abstract

Importance

Celiac disease is caused by an immune response in persons who are genetically susceptible to dietary gluten, a protein complex found in wheat, rye, and barley. Ingestion of gluten by persons with celiac disease causes immune-mediated inflammatory damage to the small intestine.

Objective

To issue a new US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for celiac disease.

Evidence Review

The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the accuracy of screening in asymptomatic adults, adolescents, and children; the potential benefits and harms of screening vs not screening and targeted vs universal screening; and the benefits and harms of treatment of screen-detected celiac disease. The USPSTF also reviewed contextual information on the prevalence of celiac disease among patients without obvious symptoms and the natural history of subclinical celiac disease.

Findings

The USPSTF found inadequate evidence on the accuracy of screening for celiac disease, the potential benefits and harms of screening vs not screening or targeted vs universal screening, and the potential benefits and harms of treatment of screen-detected celiac disease.

Conclusions and Recommendation

The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for celiac disease in asymptomatic persons. (I statement)

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