Four hundred and sixty-three new diagnoses of coeliac disease in children were made during 1973 to 1986 in our department. The distribution of new diagnoses per year did not show any decreasing trend in the period 1973 to 1986. No changing trend in breast feeding attitudes was found in the region during the same period. Analysis of the clinical pattern showed a constant distribution of age at diagnosis, onset of first symptoms and nature of symptoms throughout the period studied. These data suggest that coeliac disease is predominantly genetically determined and its expression is modulated by individual and environmental factors. The stability of the observed prevalence of the disease is parallel to the unchanging pattern of breast feeding attitudes in the region.