In the Tampere region in Finland, the incidence of childhood coeliac disease was 1:1,096 between 1964 and 1973 and 1:3,214 from 1974 to 1983. The clinical picture of coeliac disease had changed to milder forms, resulting in an upward shift of age at diagnosis. Coeliac disease was found in older children and adolescents, manifesting itself mostly in minor abdominal symptoms, short stature, delayed puberty, anaemia and joint complaints, and in children with diabetes mellitus. Long breast-feeding seemed to postpone the symptoms but the introduction of gluten was of no significance. The low incidence for 1974 to 1983 was thought to be due to the estimated 20 cases born in 1979 to 1983 who were not detected. We do not believe that coeliac disease has disappeared but that it will be found during the next decade in the patients who were not diagnosed in school age and adolescence.