, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 1416-1417
Date: 26 May 2005

The prevalence of coeliac disease in adult Danish patients with type 1 diabetes with and without nephropathy

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To the Editor: Coeliac disease causes malabsorption due to small bowel villous atrophy, which normalises when gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley, is withdrawn from the diet. Coeliac patients should be treated with a gluten-free diet that corrects the intestinal malabsorption and protects against the development of osteoporosis and intestinal lymphoma.

As shown in several studies (review [1]), type 1 diabetes is associated with a high prevalence (2–10%) of coeliac disease. This has, in part, been explained by genetic factors, in particular by increased frequencies of HLA-DR3 and HLA-DQ2 [2]. Coeliac symptoms are often absent or atypical in type 1 diabetic patients and the diagnosis is therefore often delayed.

Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease and develops in approximately one-third of type 1 diabetic patients within the first 20 years of diabetes. The pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy is only partially understood. In addition to genetic f ...