Prevalence of celiac disease in patients with severe food allergy

Allergy. 2015 Oct;70(10):1346-9. doi: 10.1111/all.12692. Epub 2015 Jul 27.


The association between food allergy and celiac disease (CD) is still to be clarified. We screened for CD 319 patients with severe food allergy (IgE > 85 kU/l against food proteins and a history of severe allergic reactions) who underwent specific food oral immunotherapy (OIT), together with 128 children with mild allergy who recovered without OIT, and compared the prevalence data with our historical data regarding healthy schoolchildren. Sixteen patients (5%) with severe allergy and one (0.8%) with mild allergy tested positive for both genetic and serological CD markers, while the prevalence among the schoolchildren was 1%. Intestinal biopsies were obtained in 13/16 patients with severe allergy and in the one with mild allergy, confirming the diagnosis of CD. Sufferers from severe food allergy seem to be at a fivefold increased risk of CD. Our findings suggest that routine screening for CD should be recommended in patients with severe food allergy.

Keywords: celiac disease; gluten-free diet; severe food allergy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Celiac Disease / complications*
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease / epidemiology*
  • Celiac Disease / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Female
  • Food / adverse effects
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence


  • Autoantibodies
  • HLA-DQ Antigens