Coeliac disease: 44% of first-degree family members also affected

  • Mayo Clin Proc
  • 22 Aug 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Many first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with coeliac disease are also affected, but are either asymptomatic or have apparently unrelated symptoms.

Why this matters

  • The authors suggest that all patients who have parents, siblings, or children with coeliac disease should be screened.

Study design

  • Researchers analysed the health records of 104 patients with coeliac disease (mean age, 30.8±19.7 years; 61.5% women) and 360 FDRs (mean age, 31.9±21.6 years; 62% women) for presenting symptoms, biopsy reports, and serologic test results.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • After screening, 160 FDRs (44.4%) were diagnosed with coeliac disease.
  • Of 148 FDRs with documented clinical features, 6.1% had classic coeliac symptoms, 65.5% had nonclassic symptoms, and 28.4% had no reported symptoms.
  • Of 155 FDRs with available histology reports, 7.7% had a Marsh 1 classification, 49.7% had Marsh 3a, and 42.6% had Marsh 3b.

Limitations

  • The study was retrospective and subject to referral bias.