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1.  Predictors of persistent symptoms and reduced quality of life in treated coeliac disease patients: a large cross-sectional study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:75.
Background
Evidence suggests that many coeliac disease patients suffer from persistent clinical symptoms and reduced health-related quality of life despite a strict gluten-free diet. We aimed to find predictors for these continuous health concerns in long-term treated adult coeliac patients.
Methods
In a nationwide study, 596 patients filled validated Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale and Psychological General Well-Being questionnaires and were interviewed regarding demographic data, clinical presentation and treatment of coeliac disease, time and place of diagnosis and presence of coeliac disease-associated or other co-morbidities. Dietary adherence was assessed by a combination of self-reported adherence and serological tests. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated by binary logistic regression.
Results
Diagnosis at working age, long duration and severity of symptoms before diagnosis and presence of thyroidal disease, non-coeliac food intolerance or gastrointestinal co-morbidity increased the risk of persistent symptoms. Patients with extraintestinal presentation at diagnosis had fewer current symptoms than subjects with gastrointestinal manifestations. Impaired quality of life was seen in patients with long duration of symptoms before diagnosis and in those with psychiatric, neurologic or gastrointestinal co-morbidities. Patients with persistent symptoms were more likely to have reduced quality of life.
Conclusions
There were a variety of factors predisposing to increased symptoms and impaired quality of life in coeliac disease. Based on our results, early diagnosis of the condition and consideration of co-morbidities may help in resolving long-lasting health problems in coeliac disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-13-75
PMCID: PMC3651340  PMID: 23631482
Coeliac disease; Symptoms; Quality of life; Gluten-free diet; Adults
2.  Use of health care services and pharmaceutical agents in coeliac disease: a prospective nationwide study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:136.
Background
Approximately 1% of the population suffer from coeliac disease. However, the disease is heavily underdiagnosed. Unexplained symptoms may lead to incremented medical consultations and productivity losses. The aim here was to estimate the possible concealed burden of untreated coeliac disease and the effects of a gluten-free diet.
Methods
A nationwide cohort of 700 newly detected adult coeliac patients were prospectively evaluated. Health care service use and sickness absence from work during the year before diagnosis were compared with those in the general population; the data obtained from an earlier study. Additionally, the effect of one year on dietary treatment on the aforementioned parameters and on consumption of pharmaceutical agents was assessed.
Results
Untreated coeliac patients used primary health care services more frequently than the general population. On a gluten-free diet, visits to primary care decreased significantly from a mean 3.6 to 2.3. The consumption of medicines for dyspepsia (from 3.7 to 2.4 pills/month) and painkillers (6.8-5.5 pills/month) and the number of antibiotic courses (0.6-0.5 prescriptions/year) was reduced. There were no changes in hospitalizations, outpatient visits to secondary and tertiary care, use of other medical services, or sickness absence, but the consumption of nutritional supplements increased on treatment.
Conclusions
Coeliac disease was associated with excessive health care service use and consumption of drugs before diagnosis. Dietary treatment resulted in a diminished burden to the health care system and lower use of on-demand medicines and antibiotic treatment. The results support an augmented diagnostic approach to reduce underdiagnosis of coeliac disease.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01145287
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-136
PMCID: PMC3503835  PMID: 23016889
Coeliac disease; Gluten-free diet; Burden of illness; Health care service use; Sickness absence
3.  Clinical benefit of gluten-free diet in screen-detected older celiac disease patients 
BMC Gastroenterology  2011;11:136.
Background
The utility of serologic screening for celiac disease is still debatable. Evidence suggests that the disorder remains undetected even in the older population. It remains obscure whether screening makes good or harm in subjects with long-standing gluten ingestion. We evaluated whether older subjects benefit from active detection and subsequent gluten free dietary treatment of celiac disease.
Methods
Thirty-five biopsy-proven patients aged over 50 years had been detected by serologic mass screening. We examined the disease history, dietary compliance, symptoms, quality of life and bone mineral density at baseline and 1-2 years after the commencement of a gluten-free diet. Symptoms were evaluated by gastrointestinal symptom rating scale and quality of life by psychological general well-being questionnaires. Small bowel biopsy, serology, laboratory parameters assessing malabsorption, and bone mineral density were investigated.
Results
Dietary compliance was good. The patients had initially low mean serum ferritin values indicating subclinical iron deficiency, which was restored by a gluten-free diet. Vitamin B12, vitamin D and erythrocyte folic acid levels increased significantly on diet. Celiac patients had a history of low-energy fractures more often than the background population, and the diet had a beneficial effect on bone mineral density. Alleviation in gastrointestinal symptoms was observed, even though the patients reported no or only subtle symptoms at diagnosis. Quality of life remained unchanged. Of all the cases, two thirds would have been diagnosed even without screening if the family history, fractures or concomitant autoimmune diseases had been taken carefully into account.
Conclusions
Screen-detected patients benefited from a gluten-free diet. We encourage a high index of suspicion and active case-finding in celiac disease as an alternative to mass screening in older patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-11-136
PMCID: PMC3377922  PMID: 22176557
4.  Increasing prevalence and high incidence of celiac disease in elderly people: A population-based study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2009;9:49.
Background
Celiac disease may emerge at any age, but little is known of its appearance in elderly people. We evaluated the prevalence of the condition in individuals over 55 years of age, and determined the incidence of biopsy-proven celiac disease (CDb) and celiac disease including seropositive subjects for anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (CDb+s).
Methods
The study based on prevalence figures in 2815 randomly selected subjects who had undergone a clinical examination and serologic screening for celiac disease in 2002. A second screening in the same population was carried out in 2005, comprising now 2216 individuals. Positive tissue transglutaminase antibodies were confirmed with small bowel biopsy.
Results
Within three years the prevalence of CDb increased from 2.13 to 2.34%, and that of CDb+s from 2.45 to 2.70%. Five new cases were found among patients previously seronegative; two had minor abdominal symptoms and three were asymptomatic. The incidence of celiac disease in 2002–2005 was 0.23%, giving an annual incidence of 0.08% in this population.
Conclusion
The prevalence of celiac disease was high in elderly people, but the symptoms were subtle. Repeated screening detected five biopsy-proven cases in three years, indicating that the disorder may develop even in the elderly. Increased alertness to the disorder is therefore warranted.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-9-49
PMCID: PMC2711095  PMID: 19558729

Results 1-4 (4)