, Volume 43, Issue 8, pp 1005-1011

Development of celiac disease-associated antibodies in offspring of parents with Type I diabetes


Aims/hypothesis. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and temporal development of antibodies related to celiac disease in offspring of parents with Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. Methods. Sera from 913 offspring of parents with Type I diabetes prospectively followed from birth to the age of 8 years were tested for IgG-transglutaminase antibodies (IgG-tTGCAs), endomysial IgA antibodies (EMA) and gliadin antibodies. Results. We found tTGCAs in 32 (3.5 %) of the 913 relatives. Prevalence was related to age and reached 6.5 % at age 8 years. Endomysial IgA antibodies were detected in 44 % of the relatives with tTGCAs and 0.6 % of tTGCA negative relatives and were also most prevalent (5 %) in those aged 8 years. Both tTGCAs and EMAs were more frequent in relatives with the HLA DRB1*03 DQA1*0501 DQB1*02 haplotype (7.1 % and 7.2 %, respectively; p < 0.005). Anti-gliadin antibodies were common in both tTGCA positive (42 %) and negative (23 %) relatives, did not show a relation with age and were less prevalent in relatives with HLA DR3 (p < 0.05). There was no association between the presence of antibodies associated with celiac disease and islet autoantibodies in these relatives. Of the relatives 15 (1.6 %) had tTGCAs plus EMAs. In two of these, anti-gliadin antibodies were detected before the detection of tTGCAs and EMAs at the age of 9 months whereas none of the remainder had any antibodies associated with celiac disease before age 2 years. In three there were no detectable anti-gliadin antibodies in any of the samples tested. Celiac disease without clinical symptoms was diagnosed in 9 of 12 by intestinal biopsy. Conclusion/interpretation. A statistically significant proportion of relatives of patients with Type I diabetes have celiac disease-associated autoimmunity and the silent form of celiac disease early in life. These relatives should, therefore, be considered for celiac antibody screening. [Diabetologia (2000) 43: 1005–1011]

Received: 20 January 2000 and in revised form: 26 April 2000