Lower Level of Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Children at Diagnosis of Celiac Disease Compared with Healthy Subjects: A Case-Control Study

 Pediatr. 2021 Jan;228:132-137.e1.doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.08.089.Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Elena Lionetti 1, Tiziana Galeazzi 2, Vera Dominijanni 2, Ilaria Acquaviva 2, Giulia N Catassi 2, Mario Iasevoli 3, Basilio Malamisura 3, Carlo Catassi 4


Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy. Electronic address: m.e.lionetti@univpm.it.com.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy.
  • 3Pediatric Unit and Center for Celiac Disease, University Hospital of Salerno, Campus of Cava de' Tirreni, Italy.
  • 4Department of Pediatrics, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy; Center for Celiac Research, Mass General Hospital for Children, Boston, MA.


Objective: To evaluate the vitamin D status of children with a new diagnosis of celiac disease compared with healthy controls.

Study design: This was a case-control study. Cases were consecutive children with newly diagnosed celiac disease. Controls were healthy children matched for age, sex, ethnicity, and month of blood testing. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) was measured as the index of vitamin D nutritional status. The Student t test was used for comparisons. Differences in frequencies were evaluated with the χ2 test. Associations between variables were estimated by calculating Pearson correlation coefficients.

Results: There were 131 children with celiac disease enrolled (62% females; mean age 8.1 ± 1.1 years). The control group included 131 healthy children (62% females; mean age 8.2 ± 1.2). All were of European origin. Plasma 25-OHD levels were significantly lower in patients than in controls (25.3 ± 8.0 and 31.6 ± 13.7 ng/mL; P < .0001). The percentage of children with vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL) was significantly higher in children with celiac diseaseas compared with controls (31% vs 12%; P < .0001). The concentration of 25-OHD was significantly lower in patients than in controls during summer (P < .01) and autumn (P < .0001).

Conclusions: In this case-control study, at diagnosis, children with celiac disease showed lower levels of plasma 25-OHD compared with healthy subjects. Vitamin D status should be checked at diagnosis of celiac disease, particularly during summer and fall months.

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