Prevalence and characteristics of celiac disease in type I diabetes mellitus in Saudi Arabia

Abdullah A Al-Ashwal, Souheil M Shabib, Nadia A Sakati, Najya A Attia
Saudi Medical Journal 2003, 24 (10): 1113-5

OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of celiac disease in young patients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with type I diabetes mellitus.

METHODS: Serum gliadin immunoglobulin (Ig) A and reticulin IgA antibody determination was performed in 123 patients with type I diabetes mellitus attending the pediatric diabetic clinic at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between 1995 and 1996.

RESULTS: Elevated serum gliadin and reticulin IgA antibodies were found in the sera of 10 (8.1%) of the 123 diabetic children; none had gastrointestinal symptoms. Six of the 10 subjects had jejunal biopsy, which showed total villus atrophy. Four subjects did not undergo jejunal biopsy. The gender ratio of the biopsy positive is 5 male:1 female. All subjects with IgA positive were put on gluten free diet and normalized in a few months.

CONCLUSION: The maximum prevalence of celiac disease in our population was 8.1% based on immunological marker and the minimum was 4.9% based on antibodies and biopsy results.

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