High Prevalence of Celiac Disease Among Danish Adolescents: A Population-based Study

Caecilie Crawley, Stine Dydensborg Sander, Ellen Aagaard Nohr, Søren Thue Lillevang, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Joseph Murray, Steffen Husby

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to establish an unselected cohort of Danish adolescents and estimate the prevalence of undiagnosed celiac disease (CeD).

METHODS: The Glutenfunen cohort participants were recruited from an unselected subsample of the Danish National Birth Cohort, defined as participants living in the Island of Funen, Denmark. We invited all 7431 eligible participants in the age range of 15 to 21 years to a clinical visit. CeD diagnosis was based on screening with IgA transglutaminase antibodies (TG2-IgA) and if positive, was followed by duodenal biopsies compatible with CeD (Marsh 2-3). We calculated the prevalence of CeD in the Glutenfunen cohort as the number of CeD cases diagnosed before and during the study divided by the number of participants in the Glutenfunen cohort.

RESULTS: We included 1266 participants in the Glutenfunen cohort (17%, 1266/7431). 1.1% (14 of 1266 participants) had CeD diagnosed before entering the cohort and based on the Danish National Patient Register, 0.2% of the nonparticipants (14 of 6165) had a diagnosis of CeD. In total, 2.6% (33 participants) had TG2 IgA above the upper limit of normal. Nineteen participants had duodenal biopsies compatible with CeD. The prevalence of CeD in the Glutenfunen cohort was 2.6% [(14 + 19)/1266].

CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that CeD is much more common than expected among Danish adolescents, comparable to other European countries, and that the majority were asymptomatic or oligosymptomatic and were only found because of the screening procedure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Volume74
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)85-90
ISSN0277-2116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.

Keywords

  • Coeliac autoimmunity
  • Epidemiology
  • Gluten
  • Immunology
  • Screening

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