Celiac disease: Evaluation of the diagnosis and dietary compliance in Canadian children

Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 12/2005; 116(6):e754-9. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2005-0904
Source: PubMed


We sought to characterize the clinical features at presentation as well as the associated disorders, family history, and evaluation of compliance with a gluten-free diet in children with celiac disease from across Canada.
All members (n = 5240) of the Canadian Celiac Association were surveyed with a questionnaire. Of the 2849 respondents with biopsy-confirmed celiac disease, 168 who were < 16 years old provided the data reported here.
The mean age when surveyed was 9.1 +/- 4.1 years, and 58% were female. Median age at diagnosis was 3.0 years with a range of 1 to 15 years. Presenting symptoms included abdominal pain (90%), weight loss (71%), diarrhea (65%), weakness (64%), nausea/vomiting (53%), anemia (40%), mood swings (37%), and constipation (30%). Almost one third of families consulted > or = 2 pediatricians before confirmation of the diagnosis. Before the recognition of celiac disease, other diagnoses received by these children included anemia (15%), irritable bowel syndrome (11%), gastroesophageal reflux (8%), stress (8%), and peptic ulcer disease (4%). A serological test was performed to screen for celiac disease in 70% of those in this population. Eight percent had either type 1 diabetes mellitus or a first-degree relative with celiac disease. Almost all respondents (95%) reported strict adherence to a gluten-free diet, and 89% noted improved health. Reactions after accidental gluten ingestion developed in 54% of the children between 0.5 and 60 hours after ingestion with a median of 2.0 hours. Reactions included abdominal discomfort (87%), diarrhea (64%), bloating (57%), fatigue (37%), headache (24%), and constipation (8%), and most displayed > 1 symptom. Although most adjusted well to their disease and diet, 10% to 20% reported major disruptions in lifestyle. Twenty-three percent felt angry all or most of the time about following a gluten-free diet. Only 15% avoided traveling all or most of the time, and during travel, 83% brought gluten-free food with them all of the time. More than half of the families avoided restaurants all or most of the time. Twenty-eight percent of the respondents found it extremely difficult to locate stores with gluten-free foods, and 27% reported extreme difficulty in finding gluten-free foods or determining if foods were free of gluten. Sixty-three percent of the respondents felt that the information supplied by the Canadian Celiac Association was excellent. Gastroenterologists provided excellent information to 44%, dietitians to 36%, and the family physician to 11.5%. When asked to select 2 items that would improve their quality of life, better labeling of gluten-containing ingredients was selected by 63%, more gluten-free foods in the supermarket by 49%, gluten-free choices on restaurant menus by 49%, earlier diagnosis of celiac disease by 34%, and better dietary counseling by 7%.
In Canada, children with celiac disease present at all ages with a variety of symptoms and associated conditions. Delays in diagnosis are common. Most children are compliant with a gluten-free diet. A minority of these children experience difficulties in modifying their lifestyles, and gluten-free foods remain difficult to obtain.

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    • "Furthermore, for families with a family member suffering from CD, it is recommended to strictly separate gluten-free food preparation from regular food to avoid contamination, using different kitchen supplies (Egton Medical Information Systems Limited, 2015; Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Zöliakie, 2015). Strict compliance with gluten-free diet leads to marked improvement of symptoms, and full histological and serological remission can be attained (Green & Jabri, 2006; Rashid et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Patients suffering from celiac disease (CD) have a higher risk of developing disturbed eating behaviour. In a multi-centre study, 259 female adolescents with CD and without a chronic condition were analysed regarding their eating disorder (ED) status, depression, personality, coping strategies and quality of life. Patients with CD and comorbid EDs were older and more often non-compliant with their diet and had a higher body mass index (BMI) and higher levels of depression. Differences in personality features disappear when controlling for age and depression. Higher ill-being and lower joy in life were reported by patients with CD and ED compared with patients without EDs, even when controlling for age and depression levels. No differences between patients (with CD) with and without EDs in coping strategies were found. BMI and lower self-directedness predicted ED status. Early identification of EDs in patients with CD is suggested and should include BMI and personality factors. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · European Eating Disorders Review
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    • "Similar to what has previously been reported; we found that limited availability of gluten-free alternatives, lack of symptoms, and negative feelings can pose a challenge to compliance [51,56]. Studies in which compliance with the diet has been considered have shown rates for strict adherence ranging from 42% to 96%, depending on definitions and methods of assessment [57-60]. It has been suggested that those who are detected through screening can be at particular risk of poor adherence [61]. "
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundMass screening could identify those with unrecognized celiac disease (CD), but the experience of being detected through screening and living with screening-detected CD should be explored before considering this as acceptable intervention. For this study we invited screening-detected adolescents to describe their experience living with screening-detected CD five years after diagnosis with the aim to explore how their perceptions, practices, and beliefs evolved.MethodsAdolescents who were diagnosed through a population-based CD screening were invited to write narratives after being diagnosed. Of 153 adolescents who were eventually diagnosed through the screening, 91 wrote narratives one year after diagnosis and 72 five years after diagnosis. A qualitative content analysis resulted in a theme and categories that describe the experience living with screening-detected CD five years after diagnosis.ResultsThe overall theme – Internalizing the threat of risk – illustrates that being detected through screening and the internalized threat of future health complications have impacted how these adolescents felt about the diagnosis, coped with the gluten-free diet (GFD), and thought about CD screening. This theme is supported by four categories: maintaining an imposed disease identity describes how they continued to define their diagnosis in relation to the screening. They also expressed moving from forced food changes to adapted diet routines by describing habits, routines, coping strategies, and the financial burden of the GFD. They had enduring beliefs of being spared negative consequences, however, even after five years, some doubted they had CD and worried that being detected and eating a GFD might not be beneficial, i.e. continuing to fear it is “all in vain”.ConclusionsThere was maintenance and evolution in the perceptions, practices, and beliefs of the adolescents after five years. Some have adjusted to the disease and adapted new habits and coping strategies to deal with the GFD, while others still doubt they have CD or that being detected was beneficial. The transition to adapting to the disease and GFD is ongoing, illustrating the importance of providing ongoing support for those with screening-detected CD as they adjust to this chronic disease and the GFD.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
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    • "Screening studies have shown that the majority of children with celiac disease are undiagnosed [4,15,16], and mass screening might be an option for finding these cases [17]. The high rate of under-diagnosis has been attributed to the varying clinical presentation, where the classical gastrointestinal symptoms most commonly are either mild or lacking [9,18]. Children with undiagnosed celiac disease do not experience enough symptoms to receive correct diagnosis; however, it remains poorly understood whether these children are completely unaffected or if undiagnosed celiac disease affects the HRQoL. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Knowledge regarding the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of children with celiac disease remains limited and inconclusive. We investigated the HRQoL of three groups of 12-year-olds with: i) undetected celiac disease ii) clinically diagnosed celiac disease, and iii) without celiac disease. Methods A school-based cross-sectional multicenter screening study invited 18 325 children, whereof 68% consented to participate. Participants provided a blood sample, which was later analyzed for anti-tissue-tranglutaminase antibodies, and alongside filled in a questionnaire. When anti-tissue-tranglutaminase antibodies were elevated, a small intestinal biopsy verified the screening-detected celiac disease diagnosis. Self-reported HRQoL was measured using Kidscreen, a generic 52 items instrument with proven reliability and validity. Scores were linearly transformed into a 0–100 scale with higher values indicating better HRQoL. Mean values with standard deviations (mean ± SD) were compared, and uni- and multivariate logistic regression models tested the odds of a low HRQoL among children with undetected or diagnosed celiac disease, respectively. Results Children with undetected celiac disease (n = 238) reported similar HRQoL as children without celiac disease (n = 12 037) (83.0 ± 11.0 vs. 82.5 ± 11.3, P = 0.51), and also similar HRQoL (82.2 ± 12.2, P = 0.28) to that of children with diagnosed celiac disease (n = 90), of whom 92% were adherent to treatment. Having undetected celiac disease did not increase the odds of low overall HRQoL, independent of sex, area of residence, study year and occurrence of gastrointestinal symptoms (adjusted odds ratio 0.77, 95% CI 0.54-1.10). Comparable results were seen for diagnosed celiac disease cases (adjusted odds ratio 1.11, 95% CI 0.67-1.85). Conclusion Children with undetected celiac disease reported comparable HRQoL as their peers with diagnosed celiac disease, and those without celiac disease, when reporting prior to receiving the diagnosis through screening. Thus, children with celiac disease, both untreated and diagnosed, perceive their HRQoL as unimpaired by their disease.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · BMC Public Health
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