The coexistence of celiac disease (CD) and obesity/overweight is not unusual. We investigate the prevalence and clinical presentation of CD, detected by screening, among children with excessive weight gain. We enrolled 200 children referred for overweight/obesity to our outpatient clinic. Medical history during pregnancy and childhood and lifestyle variables were recorded. Patients were screened for CD with total immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgA anti-transglutaminase (tTG-IgA) and IgA anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA-IgA). In subjects with positive autoantibodies, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGDS) was performed and genetic testing for HLA DQ2 and/or DQ8 haplotypes was tested. CD positive antibodies (tTg-IgA and EMA-IgA) were detected in eight patients (4%); in all subjects CD diagnosis was confirmed by HLA-DQ2 and/or DQ8 compatibility and EGDS. No association between CD and medical history during pregnancy and childhood or lifestyle variables was noted; however, a dietary difference was identified with those testing positive for CD also reporting a lower weekly consumption of fruits and vegetables (p=0.04). Headache was reported more frequently in patients with than without CD (p=0.04). Familiar positivity for autoimmune diseases was revealed in CD patients (p=0.01). CD should be considered in children with excessive weight gain. Familial predisposition to other autoimmune diseases may represent a risk factor for development of CD. Even though the relationship between headache and CD is not well defined, the patients with headache of unknown origin should be screened for CD.
- celiac disease
- excessive weight gain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism