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Journal of Crohn's and Colitis: 9 (9)


Laurence J. Egan, Ireland

Associate Editors

Maria T. Abreu, USAShomron Ben-Horin, IsraelSilvio Danese, ItalyPeter Lakatos, HungaryMiles Parkes, UKGijs van den Brink, NLSéverine Vermeire, Belgium


Published on behalf of

The risk of contracting pediatric inflammatory bowel disease in children with celiac disease, epilepsy, juvenile arthritis and type 1 diabetes—a nationwide study

Lauri J. Virta, Kaija-Leena Kolho
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crohns.2012.02.021 53-57 First published online: 1 February 2013


Background and aims: The association of celiac disease with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in children is unclear. This study assesses the risk of IBD in children diagnosed with celiac disease and three other chronic diseases, namely epilepsy, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and type 1 diabetes using nationwide, comprehensive registers.

Methods: We identified Finnish children born between 1994 and 2008 and diagnosed with IBD (n = 596) by October 2010 (aged up to 16 years) in a national register of medical reimbursements, which all these patients are entitled to. The presence of other chronic diseases, such as celiac disease, epilepsy, JIA and type 1 diabetes, diagnosed before the diagnosis of IBD was accordingly identified in patients and their population-based, individually matched controls (n = 2380). The data on chronic diseases are based on certificates including the diagnostic criteria. The risk of contracting IBD in children with a diagnosis of a chronic disease was analyzed using conditional logistic regression analysis.

Results: Chronic diseases were more common in children contracting IBD than in their matched controls (frequency of chronic diseases 5.9% and 1.0%, respectively, p < 0.001). Celiac disease associated with later development of ulcerative colitis (p < 0.01) but the association with Crohn's disease was less clear (p < 0.05). For the other chronic diseases, association was seen only between epilepsy and ulcerative colitis (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Pediatric patients with celiac disease or epilepsy have an increased risk of developing IBD during their childhood but the risk is not high. This finding warrants a thorough investigation of intestinal symptoms in these children.

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Chronic disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Abbreviations
    confidence interval
    inflammatory bowel disease
    juvenile idiopathic arthritis
    odds ratio
    Social Insurance Institution
    ulcerative colitis
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