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Keywords:

  • diabetic nephropathy;
  • celiac disease;
  • albuminuria

Objectives

Although a diagnosis of coeliac disease (CD) may be confronting to children with type 1 diabetes and their families, we hypothesize that children with CD have lower urinary albumin excretion, a marker of renal dysfunction.

Research design

Twenty-four children with type 1 diabetes and biopsy-proven CD, on a gluten-free diet for at least 1 yr, were recruited from a single paediatric diabetes clinic alongside 55 children with type 1 diabetes but without CD matched for age, gender, duration of diabetes, and glycaemic control.

Results

Despite comparable diabetes exposure, glycaemic control and nutritional status, children with type 1 diabetes and CD had a lower urinary albumin creatinine ratio than in diabetic subjects without CD (0.9 ± 0.3 mg/mmol vs. 1.6 ± 0.3 mg/mmol; p = 0.01). Participants with CD also showed slower progression in albuminuria over 5-yr of follow-up while a small but significant increase was observed in the children with diabetes alone (1.6 ± 0.3 mg/mmol; follow-up 2.4 ± 0.5 mg/mmol; p = 0.02).

Conclusions

As urinary albumin excretion is continuously associated with the risk of kidney disease, it is possible to speculate that CD or its management confers a degree of renoprotection. Larger studies are required to test this hypothesis.