ABSTRACT: The incidence of coeliac disease (CD) was calculated on 304 patients under eighteen who were born in the city of Turin and its province in the years 1975-1989; the prevalence on 494 patients who live in the Piedmont Region. The mean crude yearly incidence was 0.511/1000 (1:1957 live birth). It varied from year to year, reaching minimum values in the years 1984-1987. In a contemporary epidemiological study, the mean crude incidence of CD in Italy was 1.2/1000 (1:833 live birth) twice the rate observed in Turin. The prevalence of paediatric CD in Piedmont was 113 per million inhabitants. Since CD has a normal life expectancy, its prevalence may be expected to increase. In the provinces of Novara, Alessandria and Asti CD prevalence was lower than in the others. Mean age at onset was 6 mos in 1975 and increased to 34 mos in 1989. Mean age at diagnosis was 15 mos in 1981, and 7 yrs in 1989. Symptoms were more numerous and severe in patients under 12 mos of age, and became fewer and often atypical in older children. We can therefore speculate that the trend towards a decreasing incidence of CD in recent years my be due to delayed diagnosis.
Minerva pediatrica 44(7-8):371-6.