• Children;
  • Coeliac disease;
  • Leptin;
  • Nutritional assessment


Aims:  The main aim of this study was to assess the nutritional status of children with newly diagnosed Coeliac disease (CD)with comparison to matched controls. A further aim was to assess relationships between presentation patterns and nutrition in childhood CD.

Methods:  The nutritional status of newly diagnosed CD was assessed by anthropometry, Bioelectrical Impedance and serum leptin levels, and contrasted to age and gender matched controls.

Results:  Twenty-five children with CD (mean age of 8.2 ± 4.5 years) and 25 control children (mean age 8.1 ± 4.4.) were enrolled. Thirteen (52%) children with CD had gastrointestinal symptoms with 14 having a family history of CD. At presentation 8.7% were wasted, 4.2% were stunted and 20.8% overweight, although none were obese. Mean height and weight for age, other nutritional parameters and serum leptin did not differ between the groups. Serum leptin correlated with BMI in both groups.

Conclusions:  Children with CD more commonly present with atypical symptoms than with classical features. Variations in nutrition (under to overnutrition) may be seen at diagnosis, without relationship to the presence of symptoms. Leptin levels were not altered specifically in the setting of CD. Nutritional assessment remains important in the assessment and management of CD in children.