Sex- and age-dependent effects of celiac disease on growth and weight gain in children with type 1 diabetes: Analysis of the type 1 diabetes Exchange Clinic Registry.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Celiac disease (CD) is common in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and effects of CD on growth in children with T1D remain unclear.

METHODS

We analyzed heights, weights, and body mass index (BMI) in 215 matched pediatric CD/control pairs in the T1D Exchange Clinic Registry. CD was defined by a clinic-reported diagnosis and positive celiac serology (n = 80) and/or positive small bowel biopsy (n = 135). Cases and controls were matched by age (mean: 14 years), diabetes duration (median: 7 years), sex (57% female), and clinic site. There were 5569 height/weight measurements.

RESULTS

Gluten was restricted for varying periods of time in 61% of females and 51% of males with CD. Females with CD were shorter than female controls at all ages (P = 0.01). Weight z-scores were initially lower in preschool females with CD but similar to controls by middle childhood. Males with CD were initially shorter but adult heights were similar. Height in both sexes and weight in males were lower in CD participants diagnosed at younger age. Growth in T1D children with biopsy-proven CD, 76% of them were gluten-restricted, was comparable to that of T1D controls.

CONCLUSION

Concurrent CD impairs linear growth in T1D females at all stages of development and in young T1D males. Young females with CD have lower weights, but both sexes have similar weights by middle childhood. Children younger at CD onset remain shorter throughout childhood; males younger at CD onset have persistently lower weights. Long-term gluten restriction may restore weight gain and linear growth in children with CD and T1D.

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