Presentation Patterns and Nutritional Impact of Coeliac Disease in New Zealand Children

Mustafa A Adamji, Martin Whitehead, Andrew Stewart Day


INTRODUCTION: Recent studies have shown increasing numbers of children diagnosed with coeliac disease (CD), with many having few or no symptoms.

AIM: To evaluate the presentation patterns of a cohort of children diagnosed with coeliac disease at Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand.

METHODS: Children aged 15 years or less diagnosed with CD (based upon standard histological criteria) over a five year period were identified retrospectively. Presenting symptoms, anthropometry, serology and micronutrients were reviewed.

RESULTS: Over the study period, 110 children were diagnosed at mean age of 7.37 years. The most common presenting symptom was abdominal pain. Sixteen children were diagnosed following screening in high risk groups, with 14 being asymptomatic. Eighteen children were iron deficient and twelve vitamin D deficient.

CONCLUSIONS: CD was diagnosed in children of all ages, with various presentation patterns. Micronutrient deficiencies were commonly seen at diagnosis. Ongoing assessment of patterns of CD in NZ children is required.


Coeliac disease; Children; Screening; Antibodies; Small bowel biopsy

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