Clinics of coeliac disease in children in the 2000s
To describe the clinical picture of patients with coeliac disease (CD) and the change in its presentation over the past decades. Study design:
Patients with CD were identified and clinical data collected from hospital records over a 6-year period (2000–2005). Results:
Altogether 197 patients aged 0.6–15.9 (mean 7.2) years were identified. They were found amongst the child population served by the hospital, the mean number of children at age 0.5–16 years was 268 000 during 2000–2005. The presenting symptom amongst the youngest patients (<3 years) was chronic diarrhoea (in 67%), and amongst older patients, abdominal pain. At the time of diagnosis, growth was severely retarded (height <2 SD for age) in 6.6%; mean height was −0.06 SD and weight + 1% for height. After diet treatment for a mean of 6 months, both height and weight increased significantly. Anaemia and iron deficiency were present in 25% and 43% of patients respectively. Intraepithelial T-cell receptor gamma/delta cells were pathologic in all 150 specimens studied. Conclusions:
The presentation of CD depends on age. Even when we found six times more patients than during years 1976–1985 in the same hospital, published data on the prevalence of CD suggest that we found only a small minority of children with CD.