Gluten-free diet adherence in children with screening-detected celiac disease using a prospective birth cohort study

TEDDY Study Group, Pooja Mehta, Qian Li, Marisa Stahl, Ulla Uusitalo, Katri Lindfors, Martha D. Butterworth, Kalle Kurppa, Suvi Virtanen, Sibylle Koletzko, Carin Aronsson, William A. Hagopian, Marian J. Rewers, Jorma Toppari, Anette G. Ziegler, Beena Akolkar, Jeffrey P. Krischer, Daniel Agardh, Edwin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Background Celiac disease has an increasing incidence worldwide and is treated with lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet. We aimed to describe gluten-free diet adherence rates in children with screening-identified celiac disease, determine adherence-related factors, and compare adherence to food records in a multinational prospective birth cohort study. Methods Children in The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young study with celiac disease were included. Subjects had at least annual measurement of adherence (parent-report) and completed 3-day food records. Descriptive statistics, t-tests, Kruskal-Wallis tests and multivariable logistic and linear regression were employed. Results Two hundred ninety (73%) and 199 (67%) of subjects were always adherent to a gluten-free diet at 2 and 5 years post celiac disease diagnosis respectively. The percentage of children with variable adherence increased from 1% at 2 years to 15% at 5 years. Children with a first-degree relative with celiac disease were more likely to be adherent to the gluten-free diet. Gluten intake on food records could not differentiate adherent from nonadherent subjects. Adherent children from the United States had more gluten intake based on food records than European children (P < .001 and P = .007 at 2 and 5 years respectively). Conclusion Approximately three-quarters of children with screening-identified celiac disease remain strictly adherent to a gluten-free diet over time. There are no identifiable features associated with adherence aside from having a first-degree relative with celiac disease. Despite good parent-reported adherence, children from the United States have more gluten intake when assessed by food records. Studies on markers of gluten-free diet adherence, sources of gluten exposure (particularly in the United States), and effects of adherence on mucosal healing are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0275123
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2 February
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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