Prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity in first-degree relatives of patients with celiac disease
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Patients with celiac disease (CeD) are prone to develop other autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes. While 7.5% of first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with CeD develop CeD, it is not clear whether FDRs of patients with CeD are at higher risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disease.
In this prospective case-control study, we recruited 194 FDRs (males 53.1%) of 91 patients with CeD and 140 age-matched healthy controls (males 76.4%). They were screened for CeD using anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (anti-tTG Ab) and thyroid disease using a symptom questionnaire, anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies (anti-TPO) and serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Subjects having positive anti-TPO but a normal TSH were classified as having thyroid autoimmunity and those with elevated TSH with or without positive anti-TPO Ab were classified as having autoimmune thyroid dysfunction.
The prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity and autoimmune thyroid dysfunction in FDRs was significantly higher than that in healthy controls (17.5% vs. 5.0%, p < 0.01; 11.8% vs. 3.5%, p < 0.01), respectively. A significantly higher number of FDRs had a positive anti-tTG Ab in comparison with controls (13.9% vs. 2.2%, p < 0.001). Amongst FDRs having thyroid autoimmunity, 44.1%, 47.0% and 8.8% were siblings, parents and children of patients with CeD, respectively. Familial clustering was seen only in 1 family.
KeywordsAutoimmunity Familial Genetics Thyroid dysfunction
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
SS, AA, AS, VG, RK, PKC, VA, and GKM declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study was performed conforming to the Helsinki declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 and 2008 concerning human and animal rights, and the authors followed the policy concerning informed consent as shown on Springer.com.
Institutional Ethics Committee approved the study (IEC/NP-202/ 275Q5 08.05.2015, RP-18/2015), and written and informed consent was taken from each participating subject.
The authors are solely responsible for the data and the contents of the paper. In no way, the Honorary Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board Members, or the printer/publishers are responsible for the results/findings and content of this article.
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