Aims: To determine the incidence of coeliac disease in young people with Type 1 diabetes and to examine the effect of age at diabetes onset and disease duration.
Methods: This was a clinic-based observational cohort study of 4379 people aged ≤ 18 years (49% male) between 1990 and 2009 from Sydney, Australia. Screening for coeliac disease was performed at diagnosis and 1-2 yearly using anti-endomysial and/or anti-tissue transglutaminase immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies. Coeliac disease was diagnosed by small bowel biopsy based on Marsh score ≥ III.
Results: Coeliac disease was confirmed by biopsy in 185; of these, 61 (33%) were endomysial or tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody-positive at diabetes diagnosis. Mean age at diabetes onset was 6.6 ± 4.0 vs. 8.4 ± 4.1 years in those without coeliac disease (P < 0.001). Mean incidence was 7.7 per 1000 person years (95% CI 6.6-8.9) over 20 years. Incidence was higher in children aged < 5 years at diabetes diagnosis (10.4 per 1000 person years) vs. ≥ 5 years (6.4 per 1000), incidence rate ratio 1.6 (95% CI 1.2-2.2, P = 0.002). Coeliac disease was diagnosed after 2, 5 and 10 years of diabetes in 45, 78 and 94% of cases, respectively. Median time to coeliac disease diagnosis was longer in children aged < 5 years at diabetes onset (3.3 years) compared with older children (0.7 years, P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Coeliac disease is common in young people with Type 1 diabetes; the risk is greatest with diabetes onset < 5 years, but after longer diabetes duration. Screening for coeliac disease should be performed at diabetes diagnosis and for at least 10 years in young children.
© 2012 The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN). Diabetic Medicine © 2012 Diabetes UK.