Objective: To investigate the influence of celiac disease (CD) on growth and metabolic control in a nationwide cohort of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Study design: We analyzed data from 19,796 pediatric patients with T1D in the German pediatric multicenter DPV-database for occurrence of CD.
Results: CD-specific antibodies were present in 1326 patients (6.7%). The diagnosis was confirmed in 127 patients (0.6%) by small-bowel biopsy. Female subjects were significantly more predisposed to have T1D and CD. The CD-affected patients in our cohort were significantly younger at diabetes onset. Furthermore, they had significantly lower height-SDS at onset (-0.49 vs -0.06, P < .05), a difference that increased during the course of the disease (-0.80 vs -0.26 after 9 years of diabetes, P < .05). In addition, body mass index-SDS significantly differed between the groups (0.22 vs 0.47, P < .05). Evidence for thyroid disease was more commonly observed in the T1D with CD group (6.3% vs 2.3%, P < .05). HbA1c values were lower in the patients with T1D and CD.
Conclusions: The CD-positive patients were characterized by earlier onset of diabetes and decreased growth and weight gain. These findings emphasize the clinical relevance of celiac disease in patients with autoimmune diabetes.