To describe the prevalence of potential celiac disease (pot-CD) in young patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and characterize their clinical features. METHODS: This cross-sectional multicenter study involved 8717 T1DM patients from 31 Italian centers. Information was collected on the total number of T1DM patients, CD patients and pot-CD patients. The following data were collected on pot-CD patients: gender, age at T1DM diagnosis, age at the first CD serological positivity, presence of CD-related symptoms, presence of other autoimmune disorders and treatment with gluten free diet (GFD). One thousand-three-hundred-sixty-one patients who were positive for CD serology were the control group. RESULTS: CD serological positivity was found in 7.2% T1DM patients. Prevalence of pot-CD was 12.2% (n=77) among CD positive patients: symptoms were present in 12/77; a third autoimmune disorder was found in 15 patients. Prevalence of pot-CD in the control population was 8.4% (n=114; p=0.005). No difference was found with regard to clinical features. Only few symptomatic patients were on GFD both in T1DM and control patients. CONCLUSIONS: A higher prevalence of pot-CD was found in T1DM patients, that may be ascribed to the routine screening, although the influence of genetic factors cannot be excluded. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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