DIGESTIVE DISEASES AND SCIENCES, vol.50, no.1, pp.136-142, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
Celiac disease (CD) is characterized by malabsorption of nutrients in the small intestine. The availability of highly specific and sensitive serologic tests has facilitated its diagnosis, increasing the disease prevalence. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical, laboratory, and histopathological features of CD in Turkish adults. Between 1968 and 2002, CD patients presenting to the Gastroenterology Unit were evaluated retrospectively. From 2002, newly diagnosed patients were prospectively followed up. Sixty patients (39 female, 21 male) were included in the study. Mean body mass index was 22.2 +/- 5.4 kg/m(2). The most common symptoms were diarrhea, weight loss, and flatulence. Most common comorbidities were anemia, osteoporosis, type I diabetes mellitus, and steatohepatitis. Six (10.0%) patients had a family history of diabetes mellitus; one (1.7%) patient had a family history of CD. Plasma glucose and serum gamma-glutamyltransferase levels were significantly higher in females than males. Most common histopathological findings were increased lymphocytes in the lamina propria (76.2%) and villus epithelium (59.5%). Over the years, the cumulative frequency of CD increased more in females than males. This is the first study in the literature showing the characteristics of CD in Turkish adults. In our previous recent study, the prevalence of tissue transglutaminase antibody positivity in Turkish healthy blood donors was 1.3%, indicating a high prevalence of CD in our population. In this study, the cumulative frequency of CD increased more in females than males. With the better understanding and increased suspicion of the disease, more patients are being diagnosed in our population.