Case-Finding for Adult Celiac Disease in Patients with Reduced Bone Mineral Density
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The aim of this study was to assess the value of case-finding for unrecognized adult celiac disease (CD) in patients with reduced bone mineral density (BMD), verified by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Patients attending for a DXA scan were investigated for CD using immunoglobulins, IgG/IgA antigliadin antibodies (AGA), and endomysial antibodies (EMA). All patients with a positive IgA AGA, EMA, or only IgG AGA in the presence of IgA deficiency had a small bowel biopsy. There were 12 cases of CD (12/978), a prevalence of 1.2% for the whole cohort. The prevalence of CD was 0.7% (2/304) for those with a normal BMD, 1.2% (5/431) for patients with osteopenia, and 2.1% (5/243) for patients with osteoporosis. Direct questioning revealed that all patients with unrecognized CD had subtle gastrointestinal symptoms or a history of anemia. Excluding patients without these symptoms would give a prevalence of 3.9% for osteoporosis (5/127) and 2.6% for osteopenia (5/191). This study suggests that there is no value of unselected case-finding for CD in patients with a reduced BMD. However, a targeted case-finding approach may be more valid and cost-effective with the initial selection of patients who should be investigated for CD based on questioning about gastrointestinal symptoms or anemia.
Keywords:celiac disease prevalence bone mineral density case-finding dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
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