Overweight not unusual in kids with celiac disease

Reuters Health Information: Overweight not unusual in kids with celiac disease

Overweight not unusual in kids with celiac disease

Last Updated: 2015-11-06

By Laura Newman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Celiac disease can't be automatically ruled out in children who are overweight or obese, Italian researchers confirm.

They found that 7.8% of kids with celiac disease in their cohort were overweight at diagnosis.

"Being overweight/obese shall not induce clinicians to exclude CD without testing," Dr. T. Capriati, from the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit, Children's Hospital, Rome and colleagues wrote in a paper online October 28 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Furthermore, a gluten-free diet (GFD) was not linked to a significant rise in overweight/obesity at follow-up. Gender differences were also identified, with boys having a much higher rate of overweight/obesity than girls. Overweight/obese children in the study tended to be significantly older and had significantly lower levels of tissue anti-transglutaminase-IgA (tTG-IgA) antibodies.

In the study, Dr. Capriati and colleagues reviewed the charts of 445 consecutively diagnosed CD patients, including 156 boys, with a median age of six years. At diagnosis, overweight/obese kids had a median age of 6.8 years versus 3.3 years for kids with normal BMI, and significantly lower levels of tTG antibodies (101 vs. 279).

After patients were put on a gluten-free diet, very few became overweight during follow-up - an additional 2% from baseline. "Thus, GFD is not associated with the risk to develop overweight or obesity in the medium long-term of the follow-up," the authors wrote.

Dr. John Leung, Director of the Food Allergy Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, wasn't surprised by the findings.

"I do not disregard overweight patients and I have a very low threshold to screen for celiac disease," he said. "I screen if I see GI symptoms and do not overlook overweight patients."

The authors reported no disclosures and did not respond to a request for comment.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1XV4zZo

Eur J Clin Nutr 2015.

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