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Anna B. Szaflarska-Poplawska, Monika Parzecka, Lucyna Muller, Waldemar Placek
Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(3): PH7-11
Epidemiologic studies of celiac disease in Poland have been performed only within selected regions of the country and involve mainly symptomatic patients or groups at risk. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of celiac disease among children in Poland.
Material and Method: Screening for the presence of antiendomysial antibodies IgA endomysium (EmA) and IgG EmA was performed in 3235 children born between 1994 and 1997 and living in Bydgoszcz. Small-bowel biopsy was proposed for patients with a positive IgA EmA and/or IgG EmA titer.
Results: A positive IgA EmA and/or IgG EmA titer was found in 25 patients (0.8%). Histopathologic features of celiac disease (Marsh stage III-B or III-C) were found in small-bowel biopsy specimens from 7 children, normal histologic features were found in 4 children, and 14 children did not undergo small-bowel biopsy. Celiac disease occurred more frequently among girls than boys (P<0.0001) and showed an asymptomatic (2/7 children) or oligosymptomatic (5/7 children) course. The prevalence of histologically confirmed celiac disease was estimated at 1 in 404 children, but the prevalence of serologically identified celiac disease was 1 in 124 children.
Conclusions: The prevalence of celiac disease in a population of Polish children was slightly lower than that in other countries and showed an asymptomatic or oligosymptomatic course, despite findings of advanced histopathologic lesions in the small bowel.