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Jane Anderson

Celiac Disease Diagnosis Delays Common in Type 1 Diabetics

By February 27, 2013

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People with type 1 diabetes also are at high risk for celiac disease, but delays in celiac diagnosis are common, a new study reports.

Between 10% and 20% of people with type 1 diabetes (also known as insulin-dependent diabetes) have celiac disease. The study, published online in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, looked at the frequency of celiac diagnoses in people with type 1 diabetes and at the length of time it took them to get their celiac diagnosis.

The researchers note that children with type 1 diabetes -- but not adults -- routinely are screened for celiac in the Netherlands, where the study was conducted. They looked at 118 people with diagnoses of both type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.

One-third of those with both diagnoses said they had symptoms of celiac disease for at least five years before they ultimately were told they had the condition.

Diabetic women were diagnosed with celiac disease earlier than diabetic men: women received their celiac diagnoses at a median age of 25, while in men, the median age of celiac diagnosis was 39, the study reports. The researchers also observed two "peaks" in celiac diagnoses for type 1 diabetics: one at about age 10 (which could coincide with routine celiac screening for diabetic children), and another at about age 45.

"This observational study emphasizes that more frequent screening for celiac disease in particularly adult type 1 diabetes patients is required, preferably [at] a five-year interval," the authors conclude.

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Photo Getty Images/Peter Dazeley

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