Background: Early detection of celiac disease could theoretically prevent most of the disease-associated complications, but long-term effects of this approach are unclear. Aims: To investigate features at diagnosis and adulthood health in celiac disease patients diagnosed in early childhood in 1965–2014. Methods: Medical data on 978 pediatric patients were collected and study questionnaires sent to 559 adult patients who were diagnosed in childhood. Results were compared between patients diagnosed in early (≤3.0 years) and later (3.1-17.9 years) childhood. Results: Early diagnosed patients (n=131) had more often total villous atrophy (37% vs 25%, p=0.001), gastrointestinal presentation (61% vs 47%, p<0.001), growth disturbances (70% vs 32%, p=0.001) and severe symptoms (30% vs 9%, p<0.001) and were less often screen-detected (10% vs 27%, p<0.001) at diagnosis than those diagnosed later (n=847). Among 239 adult responders, early diagnosed patients (n=36) had fewer comorbidities (33% vs 53%, p=0.034) but considered their health less often good/excellent (69% vs 84%, p=0.029). The groups were comparable in current age, dietary adherence, symptoms and health-related quality of life. Conclusion: Despite more severe initial presentation, the long-term health in early diagnosed patients was mostly comparable or even better to those diagnosed later in childhood. Poorer self-perceived health suggests a need for support during the transition to adulthood care.
- Jufo-taso 1
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