Celiac Disease in High-Risk Children: Do Respiratory Infections Increase Risk?

HealthDay News — A higher frequency of respiratory infections during the first 2 years of life is associated with an increased risk of celiac disease in genetically predisposed infants, according to a study published online in Pediatrics.

Renata Auricchio, MD, PhD, from the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, and colleagues explored the relationship between early clinical events and the development of celiac disease in genetically predisposed infants (373 newborns from families with at least 1 relative with celiac disease).

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of celiac disease among the cohort was 6% at 3 years and 13.5% at 5 years of age, with 14% of children developing celiac disease before the sixth year of life. A higher frequency of respiratory tract infections among celiac disease patients during the first 24 months of life was seen in an analysis of adverse events. Only respiratory infections in the second and first years of life significantly contributed to discrimination of case patients versus controls in stepwise discriminant analysis.

“A multivariate model of discriminant analysis showed that the frequency of respiratory infections in the first 2 years of life could distinguish children who developed celiac disease from those who did not,” conclude the authors.

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Auricchio R, Cielo D, de Falco R, et al. Respiratory infections and the risk of celiac disease [published online September 6, 2017]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-4102