Arch Dis Child 87:495-498 doi:10.1136/adc.87.6.495
  • Acute paediatrics

Screening for coeliac disease in type 1 diabetes

  1. G K T Holmes
  1. Department of Medicine, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, Derby, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr G K T Holmes, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Department of Medicine, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, London Road, Derby DE1 2QY, UK;
  • Accepted 25 July 2002


The average prevalence of coeliac disease among children with diabetes mellitus in 26 reports was 4.5% (0.97–16.4%). Malabsorption, unstable diabetes, and growth failure, indicate that coeliac disease may be present. Even those who are apparently asymptomatic may have subtle complaints indicative of coeliac disease if a careful history is taken. Ill health may only be recognised in retrospect following the benefits conferred by a gluten free diet. For these reasons it is recommended that a screening programme should be instituted to detect coeliac disease in these children. Parents and where possible children themselves, should be fully involved at all stages of the screening, diagnostic, and treatment process.