Children have high rates of undiagnosed celiac disease, study says

Children in Colorado had high rates of undiagnosed celiac disease, according to initial results from a mass screening program published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Researchers screened 9,973 children between the ages of 1 and 17. Children who tested positive were then asked to return for confirmatory testing. If the child tested two-times or higher than the upper limit of normal, they were referred to the Colorado Center for Celiac Disease; otherwise, they were directed to their primary care provider.

Researchers said 242 children tested positive on a tissue transglutaminase autoantibodies array, with 185 returning for confirmation testing. Out of the 185 children, 149 had their positive test confirmed. Researchers found that a radiobinding TGA+ patient often had a family history of celiac disease and was more likely to be female.

Researchers concluded, "The initial results of this ongoing mass-screening program confirm a high prevalence of undiagnosed CD autoimmunity in a screened-U.S. population."

Read the entire study here.

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