OBJECTIVE: To describe the frequency of symptoms and associated conditions among screening-detected celiac disease (CD) cases and non-CD children and to evaluate questionnaire-based case-finding targeting the general population.
METHODS: In a population-based CD screening of 12-year-olds, children and their parents completed questionnaires on CD-associated symptoms and conditions before knowledge of CD status. Questionnaire data for those who had their CD detected in the screening (n = 153) were compared with those of children with normal levels of CD markers (n = 7016). Hypothetical case-finding strategies were also evaluated. Questionnaires were returned by 7054 (98%) of the children and by 6294 (88%) of their parents.
RESULTS: Symptoms were as common among screening-detected CD cases as among non-CD children. The frequency of children with screening-detected CD was similar when comparing the groups with and without any CD-related symptoms (2.1% vs 2.1%; P = .930) or CD-associated conditions (3.6% vs 2.1%; P = .07). Case-finding by asking for CD-associated symptoms and/or conditions would have identified 52 cases (38% of all cases) at a cost of analyzing blood samples for 2282 children (37%) in the study population.
CONCLUSIONS: The current recommended guidelines for finding undiagnosed CD cases, so-called active case-finding, fail to identify the majority of previously undiagnosed cases if applied in the general population of Swedish 12-year-olds. Our results warrant further studies on the effectiveness of CD case-finding in the pediatric population, both at the clinical and population-based levels.
- CD —
- celiac disease
- EMA —
- endomysial antibody
- Ig —
- tTG —
- tissue transglutaminase
- Accepted October 8, 2013.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics