Coeliac disease is the most common food-related chronic disease among children in Europe, affecting one in 100, yet experts warn that up to 80 per cent of cases remain undiagnosed.
To help address this, the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) and Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS) have released a joint manifesto calling upon healthcare providers and policymakers to facilitate the establishment of national detection programmes for earlier and more frequent identification of paediatric coeliac disease.
The manifesto includes the clarification of key symptoms and the identifi cation of those children at a higher risk of developing the disease, in Paediatric coeliac disease detection at all-time low a framework that provides greater opportunity for earlier intervention and treatment. Sarah Sleet, chair of AOECS, commented: “In children, diagnosing coeliac disease as early as possible is essential for ensuring optimal growth, development and symptom management.”
Luisa Mearin from ESPGHAN added: “The lack of awareness of coeliac disease, in both members of the public and healthcare professionals, means that the diagnosed cases of the disease only represent a small fraction of the total number of people affected.”