, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 108-111
Date: 16 Jun 2012

Celiac disease in subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a prevalence study in western Sicily (Italy)

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The association between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes mellitus is well known. Up to now, celiac disease prevalence in children and adults with type 1 diabetes in Sicily has not been reported. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of celiac disease in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus who come from a defined geographical area in western Sicily and to investigate the clinical features of these subjects. The records of 492 consecutive patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus referred in a period of 5 years were analyzed. During the period of the survey, out of 492 patients with type 1 diabetes, 22 (4.5 %) had a previous diagnosis of celiac disease. There were 14 females and 8 males; these patients showed a mean age of 13 years at diabetes onset. Diagnosis of celiac disease was often simultaneous or subsequent to that of diabetes. Autoimmune thyroiditis was coexisting in 8 patients (36 %). Our data confirm, in a Sicilian population, the not unusual association between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes, although prevalence rate is lower than in others Italian studies. Autoimmune thyroiditis is present with high prevalence in these patients. Celiac disease diagnosis often followed onset of type 1 diabetes, particularly in female subjects with a young age at diabetes onset; therefore, in these subjects, an active search for the presence of celiac disease is warranted for many years after appearance of diabetes.