Changes in the incidence of coelic disease was studied among children born in Göteborg, Sweden, between 1970 and 1988. A total of 188 patients with coeliac disease were found. Of these, 83% were less than 2 years old at the time of their first duodenal biopsy and 74% of them have so far been verified according to the criteria of the European Society for Gastroenterology and Nutrition (ESPGAN). The cumulative incidence at 2 years of age/1000 liveborn infants increased significantly from 0.31 in the first birth cohort to 2.93 in the last. This increase could only partly be explained by improvements in detection. Weight for age at diagnosis was generally considerably below the reference value, but was slightly less affected towards the end of the period. The increase in incidence of coeliac disease is the first reported since the middle 1970s and makes the disease one of the most common chronic diseases among Swedish children.
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