Screening for coeliac disease (CD) with serum antigliadin antibodies (AGA) was performed in 1032 diabetic children and adolescents. In 8 children CD had been diagnosed before study entry. Of the remaining 1024 children, 33 had an elevated AGA titre in the first serum sample. On follow-up an elevated AGA titre was confirmed in only 17 of 31 patients. Nine of the repeatedly positive patients underwent jejunal biopsy, and CD was diagnosed in two asymptomatic patients; both were positive for IgG- and IgA-AGA. Among 10 AGA-positive patients in whom biopsies could not be performed, only 1 showed IgA-AGA and thus carried a high risk for CD. From our results we estimate a prevalence of CD in Swiss and German diabetic children between 1.1% and 1.3%. False-positive AGA titres occurred significantly more often in patients with diabetes duration of less than 1 year. AGA testing reached a specificity of 99% if performed at least 1 year after the onset of diabetes. Children suffering from both diabetes and CD showed a diabetes manifestation at a significantly younger age than non-coeliac patients, whereas CD tended to be diagnosed at a remarkably late age.