Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 1500–1505

High Prevalence of Celiac Disease in Italian General Population

  • Umberto Volta
  • Stefano Bellentani
  • Francesco Bianco Bianchi
  • Giovanni Brandi
  • Lucia De Franceschi
  • Lucia Miglioli
  • Alessandro Granito
  • Fiorella Balli
  • Claudio Tiribelli
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010648122797

Cite this article as:
Volta, U., Bellentani, S., Bianchi, F.B. et al. Dig Dis Sci (2001) 46: 1500. doi:10.1023/A:1010648122797

Abstract

The worldwide increase of celiac disease prompted us to assess its prevalence in the Italian general population. The 3483 inhabitants of Campogalliano were tested for immunoglobulin A anti-endomysial antibodies. Twenty subjects showed antibody positivity and duodenal biopsy detected typical mucosal lesions of celiac disease in 17 of them; the remaining three cases had a normal villous architecture, but the finding of increased γ/δ intraepithelial lymphocytes in all and the heterodimer DQA1*0501, DQB1*0201 in two of them was consistent with potential celiac disease. Only one patient had an overt malabsorption syndrome, characterized by diarrhea, weight loss, and severe weakness. In eight subjects atypical symptoms of celiac disease, such as dyspepsia and depression, were present, whereas the remaining subjects were silent. Celiac disease was more frequent in younger age groups. Our cross-sectional design study demonstrates that celiac disease prevalence in the Italian general population is 4.9 per 1000 (95% CI 2.8–7.8), increasing up to 5.7 per 1000 (95% CI 3.5–8.8) with the inclusion of potential cases.

celiac diseasevillous atrophyantibody screeninganti-endomysial antibodiesanti-gliadin antibodiesDionysos study

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Umberto Volta
    • 1
  • Stefano Bellentani
    • 2
  • Francesco Bianco Bianchi
    • 1
  • Giovanni Brandi
    • 2
  • Lucia De Franceschi
    • 1
  • Lucia Miglioli
    • 2
  • Alessandro Granito
    • 1
  • Fiorella Balli
    • 3
  • Claudio Tiribelli
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Cardioangiologia, Epatologia, Policlinico S.Orsola-MalpighiUniversità di BolognaBologna
  2. 2.Fondo per lo Studio delle Malattie del FegatoUniversità di Modena e Reggio EmiliaModena
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Ginecologia, Ostetricia e PediatriaUniversità di Modena e Reggio EmiliaModena
  4. 4.CSF–Dipartimento di BBCMUniversità di TriesteTriesteItaly