Objective: To determine the benefits of screening for celiac autoimmunity via immunoglobulin A transglutaminase autoantibodies (TG) in children with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Study design: We followed up 79 screening-identified TG+ and 56 matched TG- children with T1D for 2 years to evaluate growth, bone mineral density, nutritional status, and diabetes control. TG+ subjects self-selected to gluten-free or gluten-containing diet.
Results: Of the initial cohort, 80% were available for reexamination after 2 years. TG+ subjects had consistently lower weight z-scores and higher urine N-telopeptides than TG- subjects, but similar measures of bone density and diabetes outcomes. TG+ children who remained on a gluten-containing diet had lower insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 z-scores compared with TG+ subjects who reported following a gluten-free diet. Children who continued with high TG index throughout the study had lower bone mineral density z-scores, ferritin, and vitamin D 25OH levels, compared with the TG- group.
Conclusions: No significant adverse outcomes were identified in children with T1D with screening-identified TG+ who delay therapy with a gluten-free diet for 2 years. Children with persistently high levels of TG may be at greater risk. The optimal timing of screening and treatment for celiac disease in children with T1D requires further investigation.
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